So, I know VirtualBox and Windows Server 2012 are going to be in the mix somewhere, in some fashion.
Maybe throwing ESXi to get some familiarity and training, see if I can't get acquainted with it and start learning it for a career specialty.
That being said, my goals are this (using the laptop as a user(s), maybe a VM or two on the system, through virtual networking, as additional test users):
utilize Win Server, Active Directory, and likely Sharepoint and SQL Server (the last two being a fishing exercise: see if they tickle my fancy, if I can make something sing a decent song).
I have a partition and boot entry that need to be removed (Win8 Release Preview). I figure, SOMETHING should go in there, but... perhaps not. It's a partition on a 180gb SSD (I split it between that and Ubuntu; Win7, well now Win8, having an SSD of its own). If I don't use it for this, I'll reclaim it as additional frequently used app/game space for my Win8 install. Can't let it go to waste.
But, throwing VMs on there sounds like blasphemy, and to date, they've gone on the Raid0 volume on my Intel RST array, the other volume being a Raid1 for storage - not an ideal RAID setup, but if one drive dies, at least I can recover something. Still need to buy into an external backup solution, but that's a different topic.
Should I install WinServer on that partition, then do any VMs/hypervisor work from there?
Or should I just utilize my Ubuntu install, throw WinServer in a VirtualBox VM?
I should be able to technically take that configured VM and also run it in VirtualBox under my Windows install then, too, yes? I figure, while I'm at it, might as well see if I can test this "one OS is better for VMs than the other OS" concept.
In any case, I'm just trying to figure out the most practical approach to handling this sandbox scenario, while also invoking as many technology concepts as possible without sacrificing performance, or in order to improve performance. Just for the sake of doing it to say I did it, but also trying to extract as much usable and practical workplace knowledge as I can.