I've never used a Mac until a week ago, and I'm really struggling on how best to set things up. So I hope you all won't mind some general questions.
I need to SQL Server Management Studio, Remote Desktop (right now Windows RDP for Mac, but I'm checking into Chrome's option) and probably a browser (currently Chrome) along with a document processor (maybe Word). Other times I'll run things like Adobe Pro along with a few of the apps I've already mentioned. Also, I need to hook into an external monitor while being wired to ethernet.
Here is what I have: MBA that is a week old with an I7 processor, 8MB of RAM, and 500(ish)GB of flash. I'm currently running Windows 7 in Virtual Box (allotted 4 of my 8 GBs) with Management Studio installed. I've toyed with Windows' RDP but it seems really sluggish. I have a few adapters (thunderbolt to Gigabit, mini displayport to VGA, and mini displayport to VGI. I've been using a Cisco USB to Gigabit adapter to run wired internet (when I need to be wired for security reasons). I needed to do that to free up mini display to broadcast to my external monitor. I haven't installed Adobe Pro yet because its a resource hog and I was worried about performance.
I considered a MBP but the resources simply weren't available. Plus, I like the idea of running these sort of apps on this small of hardware! I've read loads of sites on each of these things (various RPD options, Parallels vs Virtual Box vs Boot Camp, a whole bunch of database admins pulling off SQL work on MBAs, etc. However, I was hoping someone could give some guidance related to what I'm trying to accomplish. Does anything jump out that I could change to increase performance?