Since many years I’m using VMWare virtualization software for setting up testing environments. In earlier times, the main benefit for me was to have presentation environments that were able to be resetted to a defined state (snapshot) when I went to customers for a presentation. I tried Hyper-V from Microsoft, which also worked ok, but came back to VMWare (Fusion) when I used a Macbook instead of a Windows notebook.
I’m specialized on Microsoft Analysis Services with the underlying SQL Server, which is not very complicated (when you know it since it exists…). There were years were Microsoft pushed Sharepoint very much within their BI strategy (Performance Point Server, also Power Pivot in Sharepoint integrated mode), so I started building a bigger test environment including Sharepoint 2013. The first impulse was always to install everything on one machine. I got away from this idea and built a bigger environment with one virtual server acting as a domain controller, one Sharepoint 2013 server, in the meantime one SQL Server of versions 2008R2, 2014, 2017 each, one webserver with PowerBI Report Server, Cubus Executive Viewer and Tableau Server (took part at several beta tests), and finally one client with Windows 7 and Windows 10 each. Of course the environment grew. I started with the older sofware version and rather than upgrading the machines I copied the machines and upgraded only the copies. So I have old and new.
I even have one Windows 2003 server on which I have the Infor OLAP Server in a version of about year 2000 (formerly with the name MIS Alea). It is interesting to see the old version, integrated in Excel 2000. The main features are very similar to the current state of the software, which is also true for the Excel version.
Back to VMWare: the configuration of the network is not trivial, maybe only for me as not being a networking expert. I documented what I did in the following PDF:
A new version, where I document some changes after more than one year of experience with exactly the described configuration, will (hopefully) follow soon.