I am a developer and use several applications, tools and programs on my Windows 8.1 machine. I work frequently from home in addition to the office. Currently, I use one souped-up laptop that has all my programs and files installed and configured. In addition, I use DropBox and SkyDrive to sync and share files. I have to carry this laptop everywhere with me.
As a result, I am dependent on my laptop completely. If it breaks down or I need to change my laptop, I have a lot of work to do - re-install apps, setup SDKs, copy files, etc.
Here is a list of programs that I need to have (listed alphabetically):
- Android Studio (including JRE, Android SDKs, emulators, etc.)
- BlueStacks App Player
- Citrix Receiver
- CorelDraw Graphics Suite
- Foxit Reader
- Google Chrome
- IIS 8.0 Express
- Java MS .Net Framework (and all related files)
- MS Office 2014
- MS SQL Server 2012 Local DB (and a dozen development databases)
- MS SQL Server 2012 Management Studio
- MS Visual Studio 2013
- MS Web Deploy
- Mozilla Firefox
- and lots more...
As you can imagine, it take a while to set up all this up and configure settings, options, etc.
How can I make this portable? So I can switch laptops, desktops, etc. with minimal disruption. I've seen articles on how to create portable windows: Portable Windows, but does anyone have experience with this on a developer level? Does it provide the performance as if the OS was installed on the machine's disk (assuming a USB 3.0 SSD) ? Is the portable OS able to utilize the host machines full resources?
I am not so concerned about files as I sync all with Dropbox or Skydrive. But I want to maintain all applications, settings and databases intact when I switch machines.
Of course, drive cloning programs are available, but I don't want to be doing that frequently. Ideally, I'd want zero time loss when switching to another machine. I am not looking for a backup solution - but rather a portability solution.
Any good ideas?