As the computer processing power is getting much stronger, using virtual machine is very common nowadays.
For the server at my home, i use Sun Virtual Box to host the VM. It is a good software for beginners as it is quite easy to use and less demanding on the host computer compared with the VM Server which almost hangs my home computer =.=
Virtual Box Official Website
If you really want to try the VM family, an alternative to VM Server is the VM Player. What u need to have is just a VM image file and open it with the VM player. that’s all.
Download VM Player
The following is a very good web site where u can find many different VM images. enjoy.