I have to work for a few weeks on a Windows 7 machine and I need to use it to host developer virtual machine containing SharePoint 2013 and Visual Studio 2012.
Since the virtual machine serves a lot for experimentation, it is crucial to have some form of snapshots.
Since there is no Hyper-V on Windows 7, I considered two options:
VMWare Player. I used it for a week and found it quite terrible. Performance looks poor (although, I don't have benchmarks to support that), there are a lot of BSODs, and, more importantly, there are no support for snapshots. The only way to keep successive states of a machine is to manually copy the files, which takes approximately an hour—too long given how often do I need to do snapshots.
Windows Virtual PC—the predecessor of Hyper-V. It looks like a basic form of pseudo-snapshots is possible, but there are other limitations I have yet to discover, like the maximum of 4 GB of RAM for the virtual machine¹.
Is there a free hypervisor for Windows 7 which:
- Doesn't have the limitations of Windows Virtual PC (i.e. is able to be used for a virtual machine which has SharePoint 2013 on it),
- Has better quality compared to VMWare/VMWare Player (no BSODs once per hour, better performance, etc.),
- Supports snapshots (even pseudo-snapshots like Windows Virtual PC)?
¹ Minimum system requirements for the most basic SharePoint 2013 installation is 8 GB. For developer's machine, it is recommended to use 16 to 24 GB of RAM.