As a SharePoint developer I’ve experienced many kinds of development environments. From installing SharePoint on host OS, going through remote desktop developing and ending on virtual machine. Some of them had advantages over others, but none of them was perfect. Everything worked as it could until Windows 7 came up.
Since Windows 7 each Microsoft’s operating system has the native support for VHD (Virtual Hard Disk). The same VHD files that are used in virtualization platform i.e.. Hyper-V, Virtual Server and Virtual PC.
Booting from VHDs means booting the machine as if running from primary hard disk so your operating system will use all the hardware available in your system like Graphics, Wireless, USB etc. which is not possible in most of the virtual environment.
This is good for development environment where you want to run different operating system than host on the same machine without losing the performance. As you know your development environment could become a little bit messy with time, so separation from daily usage OS is a bless.
In this series I’ll show you how to set up your own development environment using VHD. I’ll explain some drawbacks and advantages. I’ll show you how to install your OS, configure it and install any crucial components for SharePoint 2013 development.