New laptop … new system setup!

July 27, 2009

During my holidays I finally got some time to configure my new Dell Latitude E6400 laptop (4GB RAM, 128GB Solid State Hard Disk).

I have setup a dual boot with Windows 7 (really nice and fast install experience!) and Windows Server 2008. In the Windows Server 2008 operating system, Hyper-V is used to manage different virtual machines. For the moment I’ve created already two virtual machines :

  1. Team Foundation Server 2008 (workgroup edition)
  2. Team Foundation Server 2010 (Beta 1)

Instead of using a prepared TFS2008 virtual machine, I’ve decided to install and configure Team Foundation Server 2008 from scratch because I wanted to experience the difference(s) later with the installation procedure of Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 1. I have installed TFS2008 a few times in the past but it stays a pretty cautious task. The one and only rule is to stick to the latest version of the TFS2008 installation guide. This is a list of the software that got installed already on the TFS2008 “All-Up” virtual image (app + data tier) :

After that it was finally time to put my hands on the Beta 1 bits of Team Foundation Server 2010. Installation guidelines for TFS2010 can be found here and some more helpful instructions here.

It’s clear from the start that the TFS Team put a lot of attention to the installation process. Installation is now separated from the actual configuration of the Team Foundation Server. In the first phase the software is copied to the server and some basic registration takes place. After this you get the option to configure TFS in a new configuration wizard where you can choose between a default and a custom configuration. The benefit of this new separated installation process is that the configuration phase can be completed one piece at a time without ever rolling back the first phase. I didn’t take screenshots during the installation process, but you can find most of the screenshots in this blogpost of Brian Harry. For sure, it’s a big improvement and I feel more in control during the setup.

More TFS2010 news to come!

Other interesting impressions :

  • Solid State rocks!
  • The Windows 7 experience is great as well! No big issues so far … it feels good! Also the ability to mount .vhd files comes in handy.
  • My laptop has also a built-in eSATA port and I’m still looking for an external hard drive with an eSATA interface for extra storage. Any suggestions? What about storing virtual images on external drives? What type of external drives should I look for?
  • 14.1″ for my laptop screen has been the right choice
  • My IT Pro knowledge (Windows Server 2008 features/roles, Hyper-V, virtual networks, …) got a good upgrade during my holidays. What would I do without a connection to the Internet to set this all up. I also found a very good article on turning a Windows Server operating system into a workstation (link via Cameron Skinner).