Your plan should work fine. Networking should be no problem, I would use bridged settings for the VM and it should function like any other pc within your lan.
I have a box (Athlon X4, 12gb ram)with a base windows 7 install. I run VMware workstation with one Server 2008 guest running SQL and IIS and a Win 7 guest to test applications and give others remote access to both test clients and the SQL server. Everything is scripted so when the host OS starts, it has a timeout then launches the VM's.
The only reason I went with this setup over running ESXI (which is likely a better solutions) is that with the Windows host, backups of my VM's are easy. I have a backup client which ships out the VM's nightly, and I also have a backup set (two weeks worth) in case somethings gets corrupted within a nightly backup.