This book is built around a hands-on lab experience, which will need you to have access to a server or laptop with 16 GB RAM, at least an i5 processor, and 200 GB disk space, preferably SSD (if not two disks), to separate the management OS from the disk used to store and run virtual machines.
Microsoft VDI uses Hyper-V as a server role in Windows Server 2012 R2. This is the OS that is needed for the host server. This can be downloaded (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn205286.aspx) as a 180-day evaluation from TechNet or with an MSDN subscription. We'll explore a number of tools from Microsoft to enhance our VDI deployment, including the following free tools: