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VMware Releases Server 1.0 292

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the best-things-in-life-are-free dept.
epit writes "VMware has released v1.0 of their VMware Server product for free (as in beer) as planned. Up until now, it had been a beta download. You can download your copy via the VMware website. Release notes are also available."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

VMware Releases Server 1.0

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  • by ScottLindner (954299) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:04PM (#15708389)
    I've never used VMware but have heard lots of great things from many people. I always wondered what the business model was for VMWare. Who uses it? Why would they pay for it? Things like that.

    Are there any legit home uses for VMware on a regular basis?
    • Testing OSes
      Running multiple OSes on one machine
      Isolated test environments
      Running OSes on unsupported hardware
      Running legacy apps (see above)
      • by hsmith (818216) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:15PM (#15708484)
        As someone that develops, it is an amazing tool. Right now I want to test load balancing for my web application to ensure everything works correctly. I can setup a load balancing cluster, install it all, then throw requests at it all on my PC. It allows me to purchase no new hardware, no new software, and ensure that I am getting the results I desire.

        While it doesn't allow me to stress test, it does allow me to test other aspects.

        Plus i can install every OS/Browser combination I need and I only need to worry about diskspace. Plus, once you create the images, you never have to reinstall the OS, you just clone it. Awesome piece of software.
        • It allows me to purchase ... no new software

          Strictly speaking, you need to purchase a new licence for each piece of software you use (including the operating system) on each virtual machine.

          But other than that minor point, I agree with your post.
        • Would that work for using multiple development environments as well? My manager wants us to adopt a Windows only Eclipse IDE and the rest of our shop runs Mandrake. Currently we're stuck moving to different machines or accessing the IDE on our windows server through remote desktop(slow).
          • I use it for exactly that... I develop under linux, and have XP and Office under VMWare. For that matter, I've developed under cygwin on a Windows guest on a Linux host.

            I have also used VMWare for some applications designed to "own" the computer they run on... these apps require certain OS versions, certain user accounts, filesystem structure, etc. etc.

            We have also used VMWare to run Windows software on a Linux cluster. I wasn't closely involved, but as I understand it, numerical codes (which are main

    • by Gr33nNight (679837) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:08PM (#15708415)
      Our corporation has been using VMWare Server ESX for the past 2 years and it is great. Instead of having 5 servers in a rack, you can buy 1 beefy server and just have everything in a VM. But lets say your servers are mission critical and you are worried about a hardware failure on that 1 server. If you use VMotion you can have redundant servers, so if your main VMWare server box fails, the 2nd backup VMWare server automatically picks up where the other left off, you dont even notice that the virtual machine switched servers - it works that good. Seriously, VMWare is awesome.
      • Another ignorant question....

        Why would you need more than one server on a big beefy server instead of running everything on one server? Different OSs or environments?

        I definitely understand the freedom it buys you. Would you use it at home, or is it mostly a server rack IT sorta thing and that's about it?

        I've always felt running a couple of VM's on the desktop could be a useful way of dealing with malware. Searching for pr0n and warez in a virtual machine and whack it when I'm done. Farting around with
        • by mchawi (468120) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:19PM (#15708525)
          If you have an application that is not memory or cpu intensive, but it doesn't work well with others - this works very well. Even if it does work well with others, it helps you to really put it by itself. This is partly useful for troubleshooting, but it means when you call a company for support they can't really point their fingers at anyone else because their product is the only thing installed.

          It is also useful for things like clustered file servers. They don't take up much cpu/memory, but if you put two (or more) of them out there on a VM box you can roll them back and forth for patches, updates, adding drives, etc.

          It also helps for disaster recovery. You can do the equivalent of a bare metal restore in a few minutes versus loading a machine from scratch, loading drivers, loading your backup software and then restoring.

          So multiple answers - and I'm sure there are many more that I haven't listed.
        • by Rude Turnip (49495) <valuation&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:28PM (#15708586)
          "Searching for pr0n and warez in a virtual machine and whack it when I'm done."

          Thanks for sharing that.
        • If you're running the ESX-class virtual machines, there's a number of things you can do besides isolation.


          For example, Vmotion allows you to move a virtual machine from one physical machine to another while it's still running without interruption. The newest versions will even automagically load balance virtual machines.


          It's all really amazing technology that makes you think that it should've been done this way in the first place.
        • Where I work servers get replaced every couple of years when the warranty runs out. There are apps and databases owned by specific groups that have existed since the 400Mhz was the bleeding edge in server processor speed. Because of politics and the replacement process, the current servers are running at minimal processor capacity when these applications could be sitting on a virtual server rather than using real hardware.
        • by suckmysav (763172) <suckmysav@gmailE ... minus physicist> on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @10:17PM (#15710271) Journal
          "Why would you need more than one server on a big beefy server instead of running everything on one server?"

          Good grief, where do I start?

          Putting everything on one big server is a recipe for disaster. What if one app goes down and you need to take it down, reboot, rebuild, whatever? You have to take your whole bloody network down. Lots of angry users.

          What if you upgrade your apache server which inadvertantly causes your mysql server to die? What do you do. Restore the whole shooting match from backups? Spend an hour or two trying to roll everything back? All while your users are looking over your shoulder asking "how long before it's fixed?"

          Doing it that way is just shitfight city.

          On the other hand, if you run all your servers virtually you open up a whole world of possibilities.

          For example, a few years back I worked at a place that ran their whole operation on a bunch of NT4 servers made up of a pair of Compaq Proliant ML530's (which supported SMP but only had single 1Ghz P3s fitted). These servers also had 1Gb RAM each plus 3 x 18Gb SCSI in raid 5 configuration. On top of that they had a hodge podge of whitebox servers, all with SMP mobos but only single CPUs. It was a nightmare.

          One day the backup tape drive died and the bosses were not keen to spend 3 grand for a new one. Also, I already had the shits with the whole shitfight so I built a few tempory boxes, moved the stuff onto them and pulled the 2 compaqs offline. I cannibalised one of them and made a monster (well it was back then) server with dual P3's, 2Gb RAM, 6 disk hardware raid and redundant PSU's. I kept the remaining chassis as a spare in case the main box died.

          I stuck redhat 9 on the "monster" and GSX server on that. Then I built 8 virtual servers, 2 x Win2K AS and 6 x redhat 9 and ran all of the main apps (apache, sendmail, PDC, BDC, FIle+print, MySQl and a CRM package all on seperate virtual servers. Once this was done I switched off all the other boxes and after running like that for a few weeks to make sure all was OK I also scrapped those boxes. Again I cannibalised them and came up with a lesser monster whitebox which I also put vmware GSX on, stuck 1gbit lan cards in both and hooked the two up with a link cable, wrote some scripts to backup the servers across that link nightly.

          So, I had rationalised the entire server room down to two boxes, considerably improved reliability and all for the price of a vmware license and on top of that I had a spare chassis available in case of a catastrophic failure.

          About a year later one of the SCSI discs died. The whole thing kept working but it was sloooow. So, all I did was manually copy over the server images from the nightly backup, shutdown the main server and turn on the primary lan interface of the backup box. The whole shebang was back up and running within an hour with no loss of data. Neato.

          Other advantages for vmware are;

          If you want to do major upgrade to a server, you can just copy the server image to your development box, fire it up, do the upgrade and then test it all out. All perfectly safely. If you fuck it up then you just do it again and try to figure out what went wrong, document your steps and when it is time to do the live upgrade you simply do a manual backup and then do the upgrade. It should work OK because you have already tested and documented your process and even if it doesn't it is a simple job to just restart the old server from the backup you made and start again.

          If you want to do something like a major overhaul of something like a webserver with a mysql backend then you will love vmware. You just leave your old server running and build up the new one over how many days/weeks/months you like. You can fully test it in a sandbox network (another great feature of vmware, "host only" networks) and once you are satisfied that all is well you just copy it over to the main box, shutdown the old virtual server, start up the new one and you're done. If there is a problem down the track you ju
      • The popularity of VM solutions is a damning indictment of the OS environment, scheduling and multi user memory protection capabilitie of Windows. If it was really a serious OS (say, like VMS) it would be possible to routinely host dozens of different applications and thousands of users on a single box, instead of the "1 app/1 server" mentality that permeates the Windows world...
        • by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @05:12PM (#15708873) Journal
          > The popularity of VM solutions is a damning indictment of the OS environment, scheduling and multi user memory protection capabilitie of Windows.

          Just have to get your digs in on Windows, don't you? So what about those people that like to virtualize Linux? Does Linux automatically suck too?

          Or just maybe there's reasons that go beyond stability.

          • by Anonymous Coward
            Linux doesn't suffer the 1-app/1-server mentality problem that Windows does. And, even without using virtualization software like Xen, QEMU, VMware, etc, it was still possible to create "virtual" environments with chroot. A Linux box could use a single NIC card and host multiple applications and services, each in a private chrooted environment, all using a dedicated IP address (assuming the software could be properly configured to bind only to a single interface and port).

            Virtualization software takes that
          • by brennz (715237)
            Linux & UNIX based virtualization has always been far superior to that of Windows. Superior is probably an understatement though, more like exponentially better.

            Just check into

            OpenVZ http://openvz.org/ [openvz.org]
            FreeBSD Jails http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeBSD_Jail [wikipedia.org]
            Solaris zones http://www.opensolaris.org/os/community/zones/faq/ [opensolaris.org]
            Xen http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/ [cam.ac.uk]

            and the list goes on. So much better on *nix. Of course, I think that is somehow related to the fact you can run a *nix box via CLI,
          • Heh. I think this is funny.

            At work, we use vmware-server, running on Linux hosts, to run the Windows guests. We don't ever actually have any Linux guests. All of the services we use on Linux are perfectly capable of being installed parallel to other Linux apps... even installed or run multiple times on the same box. Nothing prevents you from launching two copies of Apache, two copies of some Java server, etc. Your limit is really RAM and CPU.

            On Windows however it's a different situtation. You can only have
        • I totally agree...
          I run a number of unix systems in the same way, i currently run 2 mailservers (1 for sending/receiving mail, 1 for spam filtering) spam filters, http/https, dns, database, ircserver, asterisk and jabber server on a single quad processor box with redundant power, raid5 disks, daily tape backup and ecc memory.
          The OS does a good job of keeping everything apart from each other, and implements ulimits to prevent one service going nuts and consuming all the ram/cpu.
          If i had to split all these se
          • by statusbar (314703) <jeffk@statusbar.com> on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @06:30PM (#15709298) Homepage Journal
            The problem comes with multiple apps that have different dependencies. For instance take installations of php4, php5, apache1, apache2, phpBB, mediawiki, coppermine, subversion and trac, all using mysql and postgresql. Each one has plugins. Each one has potential security vulnerabilities.

            I've been in the situation where one of the above required updating to fix a security hole, effectively breaking the rest. For instance, one needed to be using mysql5 but the others didn't support it.

            Now they can all live on their own separate Vmware machines and can be updated separately.

            --jeffk++
      • Another advantage to virtulaization is power requirements. Instead of 3 racks of old servers generating 5000BTU each, running NT4, we set up 1 4U blade server to virtualize them. We have to run NT4 because the servers run custom software that depends on NT4. (And there are NO plans to upgrade or change that legacy system.) Now we use 45000 BTU less power and an equally less amount of air conditioning.
    • by leeum (156395) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:13PM (#15708468) Homepage Journal
      Check out Virtual Appliances [vmware.com]. Basically, there are people who've already fully configured environments in a virtual machine so you can just pick up the free (as in beer) VMWare Player product and run them.

      Why would you want to do that? I use a virtual machine to browse the Web - that way, my computer doesn't get bogged down by spyware (only the virtual machine does) and it's much more painless to simply purge a spyware-ridden virtual machine and start afresh than it is for your main computer.
    • As an IT security consultant, VMware server is be a great platform for testing or demoing applications wthout tainting my host OS with some code I'll just want to blow away laster. If you are involved in IT at all, I would recommend evaluating the technology.

      Server virtualization is a hot market, Microsoft is ramping up their existing product line to compete with some of VMware's new features. Part of that roadmap is a good 2-3 years out. This is technology is far from a fad.

      -David

      PS: Legit home uses for
      • by Cato (8296) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @05:02PM (#15708808)
        Exactly - the TWiki project, which I'm involved in, has created a VM that enables a Windows user to download a complete, working TWiki system to evaluate for use as an enterprise Wiki for group collaboration. This radically simplifies installation for people who used to take many hours to install on Windows (primarily the issue was getting Cygwin, Apache, Perl and RCS installed properly) - the VM is actually a Debian GNU/Linux system but that's pretty much invisible to the person installing the VM. The result is that after a hefty download you can have a working Wiki within 5 to 10 minutes, most of which is waiting for Linux to boot in the VM.

        See this page [twiki.org] for more information and download links.

    • by spazimodo (97579) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:32PM (#15708614)
      I recently left a position where we were using ESX server to host mail (Lotus Notes under Linux) for around 10k users along with Notes application servers, and other Linux and Windows utility servers.

      ESX was great because it allows for much more efficient use of Server hardware. In a lot of cases we had applications running on seperate servers because the apps were unstable. Without VMWare that means seperate hardware (usually racks filled with shelves and desktop PCs if the company is cheap, or 1U servers if they're not) and all the administrative overhead of dealing with those servers. We had 30-40 VMs running inside 12 physical servers including heavily used primary and failover mail servers.

      Running inside a VM gives you advantages if you're running a lights out data center, or if your servers are at a remote location. Many has been the time where a server hung and I needed someone on-site to power cycle it - with VMWare you can power cycle the VMs from anywhere, and I've never seen ESX take a dive (supposedly there's a purple screen of death, but I've never seen it)

      Another advantage is backup/disaster recover planning. With a VM, your whole server is just a couple files. You can copy those files to a remote location via a variety of means, and boom, you have an off-site clone of your server. More importantly the VMs are hardware independent - you can have a datacenter filled with Dell 6850s burn to the ground and when you power up your VMs in a colo facility running HPs, the VMs don't care about there being different RAID cards, or NICs with the wrong MAC addresses.

      This post was made on a Dell D620 running ubuntu with VMWare workstation on top hosting a windows VM for when I need to do windows stuff :)
      • As someone said earlier, the "1 server per task" mentality is a result of flawed OS's and apps...
        Similarly, the "physical reboot / physical console access" idea is a result of flawed hardware/firmware design (well, more a result of people using systems designed for desktop use as servers). and flawed gui-only os's (again, designed for desktop use)
        Any proper server system will have at the very least a serial console, with the ability to reboot/manage/reinstall etc from it... I have a vax from the late 80s wi
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@yah o o . c om> on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @05:09PM (#15708854) Journal
      We use it here in the Child, Youth, and Family Development department in New Mexico. We have an IBM BladeCenter where the blades run VMware ESX with Virtual Center, and most VMs run SuSE Linux. We are transitioning from HPUX and AIX to an all Linux backend. We like that combo because it makes it easy to clone and move machines as need be. When a server becomes overloaded, we can buy another blade and move some VMs over onto it with ease.
    • Entreprises were the original users of it. More functional servers in less physical space is quite appealing to large entreprise customers. Think about how many wasted CPU cycles are in a small datacenter of 20 machines. Those 20 machines collectively have 40GB of RAM and 30-40 total processors and yet are actually utilizing maybe 10% of the actual resources. Harness that power and use the unused cycles for other servers. These companies quickly realie the benefits of stripping out the wasted layer of
    • MS announced it today. Must be pure coincidence.
      http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default .mspx [microsoft.com]

      I've heard it doesn't totally suck anymore.
      http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=95 [zdnet.com]
    • Actually if you go to the "Virtual Appliances" page, there are some pretty neat things you can do with VMWare.

      Basically, they have virtual machine images that are set up in various configurations for particular purposes (e.g.: firewall, web server, SQL server, etc.) that you can download and run, so instead of actually setting up software packages and worrying about it being correctly configured and secure, you can just download the virtual machine of your choice, load it up, and go.

      At least that's the theo
  • Virtual PC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xilet (741528) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:05PM (#15708393)
    I wonder if there is any concidence between this and Virtual PC 04/07 being released free. Hrmm...
    • Re:Virtual PC (Score:5, Informative)

      by xilet (741528) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:17PM (#15708507)
      If you are not aware of it (I wasn't until earlier today) Microsoft is now putting Virtual PC 04 and 07 [still in beta] out for free. Virtual PC Website [microsoft.com]
      • If you are not aware of it (I wasn't until earlier today) Microsoft is now putting Virtual PC 04 and 07 [still in beta] out for free.

        Just in case anyone is wondering, it appears that Microsoft's VirtualPC for Mac has not been released for free as its Windows brethern have been. FWIW.

        Yaz.

    • Re:Virtual PC (Score:3, Insightful)

      by killjoe (766577)
      Probably not because virtual PC is so inferior to VMware. They are not even in the same league really.
    • Re:Virtual PC (Score:5, Informative)

      by Martin Blank (154261) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:37PM (#15708643) Journal
      There is some correlation in an overall strategy, and there may be something more than coincidence to the timing of the releases. Microsoft is eager to make its presence known, especially in selling Virtual Server. Virtualization addiction on the desktop leads to virtualization addiction on the server (not that this is a bad thing). Microsoft is more interested in selling Virtual Server, so they make Virtual PC available for free to get their foot in a door on which VMWare Workstation is leaning heavily.

      On a similar vein, knowing that Microsoft has a strong incentive and ability to get Virtual Server known and used, VMWare decided a few months ago to differentiate VMWare GSX from ESX (their enterprise server product), and to make it free as an enticement to play with server-level virtualization so they could upsell to enterprise-level virtualization.

      Both companies made certain products free in an attempt to upsell to their respective primary product lines. Microsoft loses little for giving away Virtual PC because they have so little of the market as it stands. VMWare loses little for giving away Server because it made up a small portion of its own sales. Microsoft possibly gains sales of Virtual Server, while VMWare possibly gains sales of ESX.
    • Of course it is only free on the PC. By releasing the virtualization free, they are playing the same game they did with the browser. Insure that MS WIndows is always the base of the PC. There is a big risk with virtualization that some other OS will be the base, and MS Windows will only run as a virtual system, as is happening on the Intel Mac.

      From the looks of it, I would guess that MS is going to the same thing they did with VFP. First, move the interesting bits to a new products, as they have alrea

  • by Kesch (943326) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:09PM (#15708425)
    welcome our new virtualized overlords and their free gifts.

    (Sorry, it had to be said.)
  • by RLiegh (247921) * on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:11PM (#15708445) Homepage Journal
    With this, apparently I can create new machines, make snapshots and suspend machines to disk. Doesn't making this a free download make vmplayer redundant?
    • Well, yes and no.

      Technically, you are right - one could just download the VMware Server and install it - however (and I recently installed this at home) this takes some technical expertise, root/Administrator access and an hour or two. And if you do it wrong, everyone can access and screw up your vm's.

      I haven't installed the player, but I'm assuming that this is a Install -> Next -> Next -> Finish type of install and you (and only you) can run a vm.

      Much easier for the general public.

      Mark
    • No, not really. VMWare Player gives you near native performance when doing most GUI operations (non-3D). VMWare server let's you connect to the machines remotely.

      The problem is, that even when you are on the machine that is hosting the VM, VMWare server still feels like you're connecting over a slow network connection. It doesn't have any of the GUI speed that VMWare Player/Workstation does. So, if you want near native GUI speed, stick with workstation/player versions. If you need remote administration
    • If you read the fine print, you'll realize VMware server free keys expire...
  • I love VMWare and am stoked about this as it will allow for use of virtualization where ESX would have been too expensive (GSX was always too expensive :) )

    I've thought a great idea along with this would be a super light linux distro to run as the host OS (an almost ESX server - obviously ESX has performance advantages since the kernel is running directly without an intervening OS layer)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I went to download server beta a few days ago to try it, and AFTER filling in my contact details I got the licence terms that said no commercial use under any circumstances. This was a shame since I wanted to run a couple of windows-ony apps under Linux on my work laptop to save dual-booting.

    Have they changed those conditions? I still don't see terms before filling out the contact info, and don't feel like filling them in again only to feel cheated again.
  • by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2&gdargaud,net> on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:15PM (#15708494) Homepage
    Today I diched Windows from my laptop and was right in the process of installing Kubuntu. Unfortunately there are a few Windows apps I still need and that have postponed my use of Linux on the desktop for a long time although I've been using it on servers for quite a while. I keep hearing of those emulator/virtualizers/whatnots but can't really figure out what is the difference between them: VMware, Win4Lin, Crossover, Wine... Do you install Windows after or before Linux ? How do you install Windows apps ? Etc... Is there a comparision of them somewhere (I've searched in the past) ?
    • Well, this is what I have at home currently: A Windows XP box, with VMWare player loaded with Kubuntu. I am not a Linux geek, so I have the VMWare player to learn linux without screwing with my host OS. And since Windows is the host OS I can still play all the games I want.

      Now you can do it the opposite. Have linux be your host OS and install Windows in a VM session. As for apps, your VM sessions can see any cds that you put in your CD drive, so installing applications is a snap.

      Hoped that helped
    • by xilet (741528) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:33PM (#15708618)
      Those are seperate systems. There are virtualization applications (VMware, VirtualPC) which run as applications and will emulate an entire computer as the program so you can install a fresh OS on top of it and run it in its own little happy sandbox. There are also programs such as wine, crossover, etc, which emulate windows from inside *nix, so they give you the nessecery dll files and hooks to be able to run Windows binaries on unix-based systems. So if you wanted to play Everquest/Wow/Civ4 from your Linux box you would use Wine. If you wanted to run a Linux server for testing from your Windows box you would use VMware.
    • by jharv13 (836258) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:40PM (#15708677)
      You install Linux first. Then you install VMware (Server). Then you create virtual machines with reckless abandon, and install Windows into one of them. From there, you can install any Windows application on the Windows virtual machine.

      Be aware that you need a legitimate license/key to install/activate Windows XP; after a P2V (physical-to-virtual) conversion of a WinXP box, I had to make the obligatory call to Microsoft and promise that I didn't have -that-version- of XP installed on any other system.

      Otherwise, I'd suggest just downloading VMware Server, and playing with it for a while. The first time you see the POST (power-on self test) and BIOS screens of the VM it's like you've stepped into another dimension; your mind reels at the possibilities. Tiny servers for all sorts of DNS/LDAP/SAMBA bits. Honeypots. Network IDS. Cookieless web browsing. Knoppix instances for whatever you can think of. It's endless.

      Nuggets: The virtual machine shares (by default) the CD drive of the host; but you can point to an .ISO file instead. You can point the drive to a REMOTE drive, of someone who's connected in through the virtual console, so they (the remote end) can have the CD they need to install from in their hands, instead of in the host's CD drive. Same with floppies. The network bits are similar; a private net, a NAT'ed net, or a bridged net. Whatever you need.

      Just install it. Let the possibilities wash over you.

      \harv
      --
      How does this sig thing work?

  • by mmell (832646) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:21PM (#15708537)
    and have been stated elsewhere in this thread.

    What seems to be missing is good reasons for using a VM at home. I can think of several:

    1) Seems a lot easier than dual-booting (for those of us with SO's who aren't comfortable with Linux)

    2) Makes a good home lab for what is rapidly becoming another standard tool of the IT trade

    3) Hardware speeds are approaching the level where (except for gaming and certain compute-intensive applications) most home machines are quite powerful enough to run multiple partitions without the user even noticing a slowdown.

    4) Shiney!

    5) Free (as in beer)!

    Feel free to add to this list - it's a long way from being complete.

    Incidentally, I wonder if Windows Vista will run under VM? I'm guessing yes (as anything else would mean that Microsoft is cutting their own throat).

  • by Lord Ender (156273) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:31PM (#15708607) Homepage
    I love this software, but the Linux client really is neglected. The documentation for Linux is not really there. There is no decent configuration tool for Linux. There are many bugs. For example, if you do any port forwarding, you must edit some nat.conf file. And if you reconfigure anything after that with vmware-config.pl, it completely wipes out all your changes to nat.conf without warning. I spent so much time dealing with these types of bugs while testing the beta, I should have simply purchased another solution.
    • I love this software, but the Linux client really is neglected. The documentation for Linux is not really there. There is no decent configuration tool for Linux. There are many bugs. For example, if you do any port forwarding, you must edit some nat.conf file. And if you reconfigure anything after that with vmware-config.pl, it completely wipes out all your changes to nat.conf without warning. I spent so much time dealing with these types of bugs while testing the beta, I should have simply purchased anothe
  • by hackus (159037) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @04:34PM (#15708633) Homepage
    In case you haven't been following Xen, the reason why you cannot run Windows is because we are waiting for intel's VM processor instructions to be implemented in the next VT release of thier processors.

    Well, that appearently is no longer a problem and you should be able to use a standard Linux Fedora Core, or whatever installation to load windows on by next year.

    VMware knows this, and is trying to prevent existing customers from leaving or looking elsewhere by giving away its products.

    Interesting thoughts I have was:

    1) I can install Windows workstations and servers remotely.
    2) How long will it take for Microsoft to add a Service Pack update that detects windows running on a Linux box and have it start not working properly so that people use thier VM product instead, or don't have a choice.
    3) Whats the performance going to be like.

    VMWare is a nice product but A it is too expensive, and be it is too expensive because it turns any VM machine into a basket case performance wise.

    So XeN's approach hopefully won't be any worse, maybe better since they are not trying to emulate an entire machine. :-)

    -Hack
    • Xen also kicks vmwares arse up one side and down the other when it comes to speed.
    • Xen has been able to run Windows for a while now (VT enabled procs are on the market). Both VMware Player and Server are free, only Workstation (like player + a few extra features) and ESX Server (like Server, but doesn't require a host OS, because it IS the host).
    • VMWare is a nice product but A it is too expensive, and be it is too expensive because it turns any VM machine into a basket case performance wise.

      Except, (a) VMware's Server and Workstation products are free, and (b) VMware runs its guests as well as virtual infrastructure. Xen has its way of dealiing with performance issues, VMware has other ways, but nobody's going to use anything that won't run the guest OS resonably fast. And once Intel's VT release arrives, do you think that VMware isn't going to u

    • > Well, that appearently is no longer a problem and you should be able to use a standard Linux Fedora Core, or whatever installation to load windows on by next year.

      Dell 1950s and 2950s ship with VT-enabled Intel CPU's right now.

      Xen is a nice hypervisor, but nothing else. They have nothing like VMotion, or even snapshots.
  • Oh Damn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blackirish (794322) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @05:49PM (#15709101)
    Goddamnit, I just finished testing and upgraded my servers to Beta 3 yesterday.

    I have to say though, as the IT manager in a medium sized business with a limited (whose isn't?) IT budget, VMware has made my life MUCH easier.

    I can buy capable dual-core servers for $500, use VMware to host several platforms on each and have budget leftover for spare hardware. I can offer more services to users, because I don't need to purchase additional hardware or request a budget increase. Security is improved, because VMware lets me separate services which should not be running on the same platform. And reliability is improved and downtime is reduced. If hardware fails, I can restore the virtual machines from backups onto spare hardware already running VMware. With the static nature of most of my servers, logs and databases are on an NFS, I can usually restore full functionality within an hour.

    And you know what the best part is? I don't have to sweet talk the CFO for more money when budget time comes around again. And strangely enough, the higher ups see the better bang for the buck and my budget is increasing.
    • Re:Oh Damn (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tweek (18111)
      I feel you on all those points. I would also profer that if you need to eek out the extra performance 5k per CPU is not a bad deal for Infrastructure 3. If you can work with a reseller, you might be able to get lower.

      The only downside I see to ESX 3 is they STILL won't support SATA.
    • Re:Oh Damn (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jbplou (732414)
      I can buy capable dual-core servers for $500 Capable of what? Capable of not running raid or having memory installed.
    • Re:Oh Damn (Score:3, Insightful)

      by IANAAC (692242)
      I can buy capable dual-core servers for $500

      That's not a server. That's a desktop system. Contrary to what Dell want you to think with their entry-level servers, servers really do need redundancy, not to mention more than 512M of RAM.

  • A few observations (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PingXao (153057) on Wednesday July 12, 2006 @06:31PM (#15709300)
    First if you install Windows into a VM from a legit Windows XP CD and try to download any updates the Genuine Windows Advantage test fails. So MS already knows if you're running VMware. I think MS wants you to buy multiple copies of Windows if you're planning to run in a VM as well as on the real silicon.

    Second, this is a licensing issue too, one thing I've used it for is for software I use too infrequently to purchase and has a trial period like 30 days or whatever. Create a VM, install XP in to it, and take a snapshot. Then install and run the software. You may, as I often do, only need to run it for a couple of hours and then not again for a couple of months. By then the trial period has expired. Simply restore the VM from the snapshot, re-install the trial software and you're good to go for another session. Unethical? Maybe. Flame away.

    Lastly, despite the fact that I occasionally do #2, I mostly use VMware to run Fedora Core for development. I have Apache set up on it with all the bells and whistles and when I'm working on a website I use it as a test server. Runs quite well with 256 MB dedicated to it on my 1 GB main XP system.

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