Using Virtual Machines to Test VMS SystemsBy John Honovich, Published Dec 29, 2009, 07:00pm EST (Research)
If you want to try out new software, like VMS, and are concerned about creating problems with your PC, you should certainly use Virtual Machines.
A verbose rant from a security consultant demonstrates the errors and issues one may face [link no longer available] when you test new software on your own 'production' PC. The security consultant could easily have avoided this by running a Virtual Machine.
Basically, you install an executable on your production PC. This allows your computer ('the host') to run 'guest' Operating Systems without impacting the settings of your PC's application/OS.
VMWare is the most well known. They offer an edition, called VMWare Workstation, that is designed just for this - testing and trying out applications. The VMWare Workstation has $189 USD list price. Consider Sun's VirtualBox an open source, no cost alternative that also allows for running 'guest' OS.
Once the virtualization service is running, you can install a variety of Windows OS, Linux distributions, etc. The new VMS application you want to run can be run inside the guest OS, providing security and isolation from your production OS/PC.
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