The logic behind my reasoning is simple, and actually stems from my many years of using Windows.
Getting a new computer, although nice to have new, has always been a major pain in the arse for me.
Every program I use had to be reinstalled and tweaked until it worked the way it did before. If possible.
I've never been able to BACKUP and Reinstall any version of windows, without first reloading a fresh copy of windows and then all the software programs separately. Once everything was installed, THEN I could shoot the backup back into the system.
With VB I tried a few experiments, using Windows XP-PRO-MCE, one of the worst XP programs to deal with.
I installed it in VB, added all of the programs I use in it. I never store my data (output from the programs) with the programs.
Once everything was set up and running properly, I took the Snapshot and then copied the .vdi file to an external HD.
Using the same computer, I cleaned off a partition and installed Debian, installed VB, made a folder for the Windows OS and simply copied the .vdi into that folder. Voila, everything was there in SECONDS, not HOURS as it takes to reinstall everything, and it worked perfectly.
The ONLY drawback is, installing the .vdi file, REDUCED my working space from 100 megs back down to the 10 megs I was trying to get away from.
I then installed VB on my Ubuntu 10.04 machine and VB, copied the .vdi file over to it, everything ran like a charm, AFTER I reregistered with Mickey$oft, as some checksum they used showed I was on a different computer. But once again, back to that 10 meg limit. So, the .vdi must hold that information.
The only way I'm going to be able to break that limitation is to set each virtual machine at 100 megs and MAKE SURE it doesn't default back to 10 megs. One of the reasons I'm now considering VM over VB is because VM allows you to add storage and memory as necessary.
The only thing I see in using a different log-in name, is that all changes are stored in the USER FILE within the same /home directory. That could be quite handy also. I've done something similar in the past, used one log-in name for work, one for my writing and another for my personal stuff. That way my desktop was set up the way I want it while working in those different venues. EG: I have one desktop set up solely for working on web pages, the browser has all the tool bars for manipulating my web sites, checking files, etc. before going live. But I don't want all that garbage in my way for my daily work on other things.
The only drawback to working this way, is if I find something while on my personal desktop that I want to use for my writing desktop, I have to share that file with another computer, in order to be able to access it from a different user name. Like shared files. Even though they are shared, for some reason they are not visible between users on the same computer. Probably a setting I have wrong somewhere. But rather than spending the time trying to figure it out, for me, it is faster to have a Universal Shared Folder on a normally idle computer, or using the slow NAS. I do have a 1 gig LAN, so why the NAS is so slow, I have no idea. Actually, it's no slower than accessing an external HD on another computer. But compared to using a USB port on the working computer to an external hard drive, which is very fast, not as fast as SSD drives, but fast compared to going through the LAN.
I've been considering buying a SATA SSD, for my imaging work, but I'm still leery of them. I've used several of these key-fob sized mini-SSD or whatever they call them, Edge Drives? Like SanDisk Cruzer's, and they seem to fail quite often, go bad, won't read, etc. They are not abused! I have a plastic rack on my desk, came from a department store lipstick display, that has 40 slots for tubes of lipstick. I have about two dozen of these key-fob type USB drives in there, holding things I use for several different purposes. The top row of these contain things like Boot Repair, Knoppix Live, Partition Magic, G-Parted, etc. and every so often, one of them, normally the ones I use for image transfers, just seem to burn out.
But I LOVE the speed of downloading large files from them when needed.
Have you had any experience with these larger SATA or External SSD's?
And one last question, if you don't mind. How does a web site (like yours) insure against data loss?
I imagine you have a RAID 5 or 10 system. But is it backed up just in case the controller card goes south?
Or is there another method I'm not familiar with? One web master I asked only stated that they use a split redundant array.
I know there are programs like RAID Recovery out there. As you know, I'm paranoid, and I have a right to be, the frau lost thousand of photographs, not replaceable, when a backup program glitch, instead of copying the files to the backup drive, it only made LINKS back to the source drive. So, when you checked the backup drive, everything looked like it was there!
I'm just tired of all the steps I go through to make sure everything I do each day is mirrored to drives both in a different building and in a different state.