iPods and iTunes with Hyper-V and TS RemoteApps
One of the problems I have working on many different computers and constantly rebuilding even my main workstation for whatever beta build of Windows happens to be available, is having a "stable" environment for some of the little things that make my life work better. One of the ways we do that in the office is to run Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition. We used the SBS second Server license to virtualize the main SBS server and also a virtual Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition running the Terminal Server Role. As we said nearly a year ago, TS RemoteApps is seriously cool. In fact, the more we use it, the more we love it. TS RemoteApps is the single biggest new feature in Windows Server 2008 (and thus SBS 2008.) In my opinion, it's even cooler than Hyper-V, and that's saying a lot.
But all that is really just background. I use TS RemoteApps to run many of my main productivity applications, including Outlook 2007, Word 2003 and Windows Mail. I even run OneNote 2007 over TS RemoteApps from some computers, though I usually load and run it locally on my main workstation. But I also use TS RemoteApps for more important applications - namely, running iTunes and connecting to my iPod Nano! That way, I don't run into activation issues when I'm continually rebuilding machines - both iTunes and my Audible account run off the Terminal Server, making life much easier.
Ah, that's nice, but how do you connect to your iPod? After all, Hyper-V doesn't support USB devices. You're right - Hyper-V, like every other Microsoft virtualization product, doesn't support USB. And that's a real nuisance! But then, along comes FabulaTech with their USB over Network product. As we described earlier, FabulaTech has a real winner here. We have been using it for several months, now, and couldn't live without it. Not only does it handle our SBS backup drives, which we'd expect, but it works great with our iPod as well. So now we have a nearly perfect solution - our iPod connects to iTunes running as a TS RemoteApp, in a Hyper-V child partition, available transparently to any machine on my network.