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VMware Releases Open Source Virtualization Client

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-before-time dept.

Businesses 218

ruphus13 writes in with the news that VMware has finally decided to open-source its client for virtual desktops, releasing it under the LGPL. This was in response to intense pressure from the growing number of Linux distros that include virtualization by default. From the post: "The CEO replacement who entered VMware last year was Paul Maritz, a long-time Microsoft executive with intimate familiarity with how Windows swallowed up entire categories of utility software as it grew up by simply wrapping free utilities into the operating system. Paul knows about that, and he had to have seen last year the dual threats to VMware of open source virtualization offerings and virtualization on board in operating systems. The VMware View Open Client allows businesses to host virtualized desktops in the data center, and users can access their desktops from any device. Going with an open source solution like this was VMware's only choice, especially as Microsoft includes Hyper-V virtualization in Windows Server. I'm sure Maritz was very focused on the Microsoft threat, because he used to be behind similar threats. VMware can grab market share with this move, stave off Microsoft's dominance, and offer support and services around its open source offering.'"

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Thanks... (2, Interesting)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723633)

Thanks, but I'm more than happy with VirtualBox, either open or closed source. Much faster & easier to install on my ubuntu boxes!

Re:Thanks... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723675)

VirtualBox and its ilk are competitors to VMware Workstation. When it comes to the datacenter, nothing comes close to their enterprise offerings.

Re:Thanks... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723789)

Xen [xen.org] does.

Re:Thanks... (2, Informative)

whereareweheadedto (959728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723839)

Have you used Xen in enterprise environment? Well, I did a pilot project last year and Xen is nowhere near there. Maybe Citrix XenSource, but not Xen.

Re:Thanks... (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723951)

Yes. While Xen is not as easy to deploy as ESX Sever, it performs quite a bit better in my testing. I think this is because Xen is paravirtualization, so it saves overhead by using the drivers from the host's Linux kernel, plus it has a very small footprint.

If you need cross-platform clustered filesystems, you might be better off with ESX as Xen doesn't include any, but you could always use a third-party solution. I haven't compared peformance on clustered filesystems, but I'll bet ESX's is a bit better in this regard. OTOH, if you're using a clustered storage appliance, then you might not really need clustered filesystems in your virtualization software.

Re:Thanks... (5, Insightful)

whereareweheadedto (959728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724045)

Both are quite easy to deploy and Xen performs faster than ESX, but I never want to even think about running non-clustered virtualization solution. In this aspect does Vmware come in front. My bosses argued that the solution I select must have some level of official support and my free time is too valuable to spend saving 40 to 60 production virtual servers from crashing due to package update. I went to a Citrix presentation, where they showed us features of their Enterprise solutions. I must say that it worked flawlessly and I liked it, altough I am OSS fan. But final cost of Citrix solution is almost the same as Vmwares, if not higher. I was also considering using SLES10 Xen and Zenworks Datacenter management tools, which provide a high degree of availability, but in the end, when technical and financial aspects of every possible solution were compared, Vmware was clearly the solution we had to accept to achieve our goals. For next three years, we're commited to Vmware, but closely watching Xen. I hope I'll get to run it in a datacenter one day :) THe sooner the better.

Re:Thanks... (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724169)

Both are quite easy to deploy and Xen performs faster than ESX, but I never want to even think about running non-clustered virtualization solution. In this aspect does Vmware come in front.

I don't know. I had less trouble deploying ESX than Xen, but it might've been that I was using a somewhat pre-configured/tuned install image of ESX created by the company's operating systems group.

Anyway, Novell sells official support for Xen via SLES and their subscription policy is that one SLES subscription covers all the VMs on the same machine. Hence, the Novell solution was cheaper.

In the end they stayed with ESX, mostly because the CIO was getting kickbacks from VMware.

Re:Thanks... (3, Interesting)

whereareweheadedto (959728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724487)

It was the same with us. We could go for Xen and Novell, but when I talked to my superior, who is a cool guy he asked me, how comfortable would I feel, when something went south and entire company was offline. In such context, Vmware offerings look much better. Altough I have good experience with Novell support, I know that Vmware offers a better one for their products.

Re:Thanks... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724231)

Oh, and we were using dedicated clustered storage hardware external to the VMs, so software-based clustered filesystems weren't necessary.

Re:Thanks... (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725131)

What did you use for clustered storage, if I may ask?

Re:Thanks... (1)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724089)

Does Xen support Server 2008 yet?

Re:Thanks... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724949)

I don't know. Server 2003 runs fine on Xen 3.02 or later with Intel VTX or AMD Pacifica supported by your processor.

Re:Thanks... (2, Insightful)

tweek (18111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724363)

Having done enterprise installations of both (pre-Citrix), vmware took the cake.

The problem with Xen was the problem with a lot of open source "products". They may be superior in terms of resources or technology but they aren't "enterprise-ready".

You can argue all you want about "hiring someone to hack on it" or "developing support tools internally" but those honestly don't fly except at a very specific company size. There are certain features and expectations that someone has when using something as core to infrastructure as virtualization and Xen isn't it (or at least wasn't at the time).

Re:Thanks... (3, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724411)

Xen as Novell ships in SUSE 10.1/10.2 is dramatically better, if bereft of tools. xVM is also very good, but suffers the same problem. Adding value is the name of the game, and Maritz fights more than the lackluster implementations of Hyper-V. Ask Microsoft for their Windows 2008 sales numbers and watch them distract you from the question. It's selling like Vista, although it's not bad-- just difficult to value-justify upgrading to.

xVM on the desktop or server is nice... but lacks compatibility that ESX and Xen-alikes are pounding them with. Xen has improved dramatically, even from versions of six months ago. Citrix/XenServer is decent, but the SLES 10.2 version is ready to rock.

Re:Thanks... (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723689)

unfortunately it is still rather buggy, tho since its open source it might get these issues fixed sooner or later

Re:Thanks... (2, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723807)

I agree that it needs a lot of work, but it's also improving at a pretty decent clip. I tried it when I ran Ubuntu 8.04, and had a nightmare with the networking. By Ubuntu 8.10, the included version made networking a snap, making it easy to use host networking to simulate a device on my network.

Another roadblock that was fixed in those 6-months; the older version couldn't boot Ubuntu Server (I believe it was a matter of VirtualBox not supporting PXE), while the newer version can.

Re:Thanks... (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723831)

Somewhat. I find that in 2.x on a Linux host with an XP guest, sometimes the VM gets stuck and hangs, making you have to kill it. If this happens, not all of the memory allocated to the VM will get reclaimed, which is highly annoying.

Only seems to happen, for me anyway, with XP guests. Linux guests and Win2K guests don't seem to have this problem.

Re:Thanks... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723751)

this is no VirtualBox competitor, it's a whole different product. it's the client for the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Re:Thanks... (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723921)

Mod parent up. This product is pretty much VMware's equivalent of the Citrix ICA client, not one of their virtualization setups. Looks like a shot across Citrix's bow to me. By releasing the client as LGPL, they can, in theory, ensure that it will be trivial for anybody putting together a linux distro or thin client image to include support for connecting to their VMware view stuff(which is, shall we say, unlikely to be OSS soon).

Re:Thanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26725129)

Much faster? Uh... sure.

Sometimes I wish VMware would let people publish benchmarks because then I could show you the difference.

Try this: Install Windows XP/Vista/7 in VirtualBox and time how long it takes then try the same thing in VMware Workstation. Hell, you probably don't even need to time it because the difference will be quite apparent.

VMware also has much more capability for hardware (3D, USB, etc). Also, the snapshot/replay/etc stuff in VMware Workstation is lightyears more advanced than anything in VirtualBox.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26725245)

Meh. Wasn't interested in VMWare before, and am less interested in it now. OSS and a business environment just don't have a good (read: reliable) history together.

VMWare was always a doomed business. (1, Redundant)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723635)

It's not just Microsoft that has a free virtual server. Sun Microsystems OpenBox is free and its good. Then there's a bunch of other open source ones. So, I wouldn't go chalking up a threat to VMWare based on Microsoft. All those people writing free virtual server systems for Linux are cutting into the cake as well.

Let's all NOOK EM (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723693)

Doomed -- better to NOOK EM now and forever !!

Coming x-mas for real !!

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723715)

You have no idea what you are talking about. VMware is far from doomed given the current "virtualize the moon" craze. Also, the fact that you called Sun's VirtualBox by the name OpenBox clues me into this fact. Also, the fact that you don't see HyperV as a threat to other virtualization systems, tells me you haven't played with it. It's fairly fast in a lot of performance tests, it's pretty damn stable compared to VMware, VirtualBox, and LVM. It also works for most Windows environment operations, something that you'll find other virtualization suites don't do. Not to mention the cost, free with a Windows Server 2008 license.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (-1, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723803)

You have no idea what you are talking about

So wait, you tell me that VMWare is far from doomed, then spend the rest of your plug touting Hyper-V? Like I said, VMWare is doomed man.

On the Linux end "VirtualBOX OSE" is great for the desktop... then there's a bunch of freeware ones. Even KDE has one I think. On the Windows end, there's the one that Microsoft makes...

so, where does VMWare play?

on a cell phone?

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723965)

On the Linux end "VirtualBOX OSE" is great for the desktop... then there's a bunch of freeware ones. Even KDE

Dude, I know KDE4 was doing a lot of wierd stuff... but did they build a whole virtualization system too?! Or just one more app that runs on Linux like VirtualBox, or well not "just another" because it's a lifesaver when you really want an app, there's no Linux counterpart and it just won't play nice in WINE.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724021)

Well I shouldn't say KDE, but I thought the "K" team had a virtual solution of their own, yeah. I think I would have tried it on my Opteron but I was using an older model that did not support hardware virtualization so it wouldn't install.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (2, Informative)

tlacuache (768218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724357)

Perhaps you're thinking of qemu [wikipedia.org] and its accelerator module kqemu [wikipedia.org] ? I don't think this actually has anything to do with KDE or the "K team," as you called it, it just happens to have a k in front of its name.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

Karrots (14012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724593)

kvm possibly? But I don't think they are associated with KDE.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724701)

That sounds like they're making a nice wrapper on KVM on Linux. Not a bad thing, really. KVM, while it's not as nice or as fast as VirtualBox OSE, does do a few things that VirtualBox doesn't do or do as well as KVM does it on Linux.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724029)

Logical Volume Management?

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

Enry (630) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724121)

Might have meant KVM

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (2, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724239)

Not to mention the cost, free with a Windows Server 2008 license.

That's not very free...

The big thing for me (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724297)

Is that VMWare just fucking works. We use it at work and I'm real happy with it over all. It does it's job and does it well. I use Workstation on my desktop for managing images of lab machines (you can clone right out of the VM back to physical hardware, don't need to sysprep or anything if you took the original VM using VMWare converter) and we have a VMWare enterprise server for running some various servers on. We are working on virtualizing more as time goes on.

I've played with other virtual solutions and I find them all lacking in comparison to VMWare. Some of it is in terms of user features. For example VMWare has an extremely robust and easy to use snapshot system in their Workstation version. Real useful if you are screwing around with software that might blow up your image, and it can branch if you start playing with multiple versions and such.

A larger part would be that VMware seems to work well with all OSes. It runs Windows happily, it runs Linux happily, it runs OpenSolairs happily, etc. All the OSes I've tried with it run well and problem free. That's not the case for others I've messed with. They work well with whatever their favored OS(es) is but they don't work well or at all with others. Xen seems to work real well provided you are wanting to do Linux on Linux, but has problems with Windows. The MS solution I haven't played with much yet but I'm going to bet it doesn't care for Linux at all.

As I alluded to earlier there's also how it deals with physical systems. VMWare has a program called VMWare Converter that'll nab an image of a physical computer, and convert it to virtual. Good for taking a system that needs to be virtualized but would be hard to reinstall. However it works real well the other way too. Symantec Ghost Solution Suite runs in VMWare fine and can take an image of the system. However you don't need to do that, GSS will read vmdk files directly. So you can go back from virtual to physical with ease. Also as I said when done right this works with no sysprep or any of that. So you build a base image on hardware and get the necessary drivers. You convert that to virtual. You then setup software in the VM, where you've got snapshots and the like in case something goes wrong. When that's good, hand teh VM disk to Ghost and have it push the image to all your client machines. This isn't theoretical, by the way, I do it all the time.

I could go on but you get the idea. They do things better than others, or that others don't do.

So while VMware certainly isn't the only game in town, it does seem to be the only one that does a really good job. The others are probably good if you are in a more limited situation. Like if you are an all Linux shop, ok maybe Xen is what you need. However if you've got a mix of OSes, or you need to mess with physical as well as virtual, or need advanced features, well then VMware is your best, and maybe only, solution.

That may not translate to world domination, but should ensure a solid market. There's money to be made in doing things real well.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724351)

Not to mention the cost, free with a Windows Server 2008 license.

No, there's a standalone version w/out 2k8 server. Supposedly you can manage it with anything that has a recent MMC (XP/2k3/Vista/2k8). I tried it out, and gave up after about 2 nights of trying to get the management console to work.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724421)

Also, the fact that you called Sun's VirtualBox by the name OpenBox clues me into this fact.

That might just have been a brain fart on tjstork's part. But feel free to come to a different conclusion if you think it isn't.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

Monoman (8745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724569)

That may or may not be true. They offered a good VM product for the Enterprise before anyone else. Now that others are getting into the game (mostly MS for Windows servers) VM needs to keep being innovative and offer what the others do not.

MS is still playing catch up but at some point their product will be good enough to grab the market share. Once virtualization is the norm VMWare will be left with filling the niche markets.

Look at it this way. Citrix beat MS to market with their Terminal Services solution. MS now has TS built in to their server product(licensed from Citrix I think). It is good enough for many of their customers but Citrix is still around and offers solutions for the needs not met by MS in that area.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724761)

Too bad it doesn't support anything but SLES..... Maybe one day they can compete on ability, but until I can run RedHat/CentOS then there is no place in my DC for the MS product. I get free virt licenses with my RedHat purchases too so they aren't doing much there.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (4, Interesting)

imcclell (138690) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723819)

The problem to that is a matter of perception and money. It's not that there aren't other viable options, it's how people perceive those options. When you talk to a manager in a mid to large size business, every last one of them is aware of VMware, and every last one of them is aware of Hyper-V because MS was so vocal about it. You may see some Fortune 500 guys who are big Sun shops that may talk about OpenBox, but that's not the norm.

So when the higher ups go out for lunch, are they talking about the open source virtual server? Probably not. They're probably talking about VMware or Hyper-V because that's what their friends companies are running.

Also, when was the last time an open source vendor took a higher up to an expensive lunch or on a business trip?

The worst part about corporate IT purchases is that they rarely have anything to do with quality or return on investment. They're usually made on a recomendation of a friend of a higher up, or back room deals. How many times have you seen a CIO go on an expensive all paid "business trip" from a company and all of a sudden you have an exclusive deal with them?

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724963)

Bigwigs can talk all they want. Once a product is free, the grunts don't have to involve the bigwigs in the decision-making process. And grunts choose products based on merit.

I suppose there are support contracts, but 1) that only applies to the largest businesses, and once medium and small businesses move to another product en masse, then bigwigs will start hearing about that other product ("what's this Firefox I've been hearing about so much lately?). And 2) when the answer to "do we need a big support contract for product X" is "not so much... all our people already know product Y inside and out, it's free, it's what they use in their own projects at home, so it's easier to get internal support for that", then the bigwigs will start paying attention to product Y too.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724385)

With that logic Windows is also a doomed business because of Linux and a lot of Unix clones. Many of good quality, all struggling, open source, etc. But it takes more that price.

In the loooong term, if nothing else changes, maybe you're right.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724449)

I like and use virtual box, but it has some serious problems. First hand, it doesn't support openstep or NetBSD 5 as a guest. (I've heard it doesn't support haiku either). FreeBSD 7.1 occasionally gets disk geometry errors. Their main concern seems to be supporting windows (and I suppose Solaris), which I've never had a problem with. Outside that, good luck.

Re:VMWare was always a doomed business. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724529)

Try setting up either of those on FreeBSD, I don't believe that they are available and I don't think anybody's managed to hack something that makes them.

The other options might could be better, but if they're not available on your chosen platform that makes them worthless.

It's not necessarily about VMWare being better, it's about having another option, right now pretty much the only options I've seen have been Qemu and it's derivatives. And even having 2 options is immeasurably better than just one, even if both are ultimately free.

What about VMWare Player? (4, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723697)

A popular way of distributing software - especially for people to try it out - is as a complete Linux distribution disk image that you can run with the VMWare Player. Is that program also going to become free? (If not, I guess it should be replaced with VirtualBox, but VirtualBox doesn't seem quite as polished.)

As far as I can tell this is just a client application connecting to the VMWare View server, which is some kind of Citrix-like remote desktop server and remains proprietary. So no big deal, it appears.

Re:What about VMWare Player? (3, Informative)

joemod (1068624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723811)

VMWare Player is already free but not opensource.

Re:What about VMWare Player? (3, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724133)

Not only that, but VMWare Server (which uses the same "format" of vm) is also free. Their recent move to web-only admin tools has gotten annoying, but overall it's still very nice and lets you manage things much more in depth than VMWare Player does.

Re:What about VMWare Player? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723843)

The player application has been free for a long time, and vmware even link you to disk images for you to play with. What you can't do for free is create disk images. I gave up with vmware due to the problems it has every time the linux kernel updates. Until vmware get the relevant code into the kernel and gives us a stable product, they can sod off. Free as in OSS isn't going to happen, most people use it to install windows, which you need a real license for.

Re:What about VMWare Player? (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724501)

What does your last statement mean? What does Free as in OSS have to do with installing Windows? VirtualBox is free as in OSS and can install Windows.

Re:What about VMWare Player? (1)

rthomanek (889915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723879)

[...] VMWare Player. Is that program also going to become free? (If not, I guess it should be replaced with VirtualBox, but VirtualBox doesn't seem quite as polished.)

Care to elaborate on that (VirtualBox being less polished in this scenario)?

I seem to have exactly the opposite impression; I used to work a lot with VMWare but I was forced to check other options when VMWare failed to run on one of my PCs and since that time I am using exclusively VirtualBox.

Re:What about VMWare Player? (1)

ReeceTarbert (893612) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724007)

A popular way of distributing software - especially for people to try it out - is as a complete Linux distribution disk image that you can run with the VMWare Player.

Speaking of which, and yes this is a shameless plug, just recently I've prepared a desktop ready FreeBSD 7.1 RELEASE based on the Xfce 4 Desktop Environment. Okay, it's not Linux, but comes with Firefox 3, Thunderbird 2, OpenOffice.org 3, VLC, Pidgin, Xchat, Gimp, etc. installed an ready for use. It's available via torrent [mininova.org] -- in case anyone cares! ;-)

Re:What about VMWare Player? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724123)

It's available via torrent [mininova.org] -- in case anyone cares! ;-)

Apparently no one does. Seeds = 0. :(

Re:What about VMWare Player? (1)

ReeceTarbert (893612) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724303)

FWIW, I see 4 at the moment and I've seen up to 10 (small fry, I know). Give it some time! ;-)

The perceived value of high prices (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723713)

VMWare's Workstation and advanced server products are expensive and companies have been buying them for quite some time as part of their infrastructure. Asking these customers to believe that "free" stuff is greater-than-or-equal-to what they have been spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on is like asking Christians to consider the notion that there is no god. They simply can't go there mentally.

There is value perceived in spending lots of money on something. Take diamonds for example. They are NOT by any means "rare." Their beauty is debatable. But people perceive their artificially high prices as value even when faced with the fact that diamond "resale value" is nearly nothing by comparison. Some people think spending more money on things make them more worth while, more valuable, more elite. Starbucks built a nationwide chain on the idea. Clothing stores have been exploiting this perception for more than 100 years in the U.S.

And then there are the commercial software vendors...

Re:The perceived value of high prices (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723815)

Why is this market as flamebait? The poster's point is accurate.

Re:The perceived value of high prices (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723947)

There is value perceived in spending lots of money on something.

The housing market and the .com industry imploded under the weight of perceived value as soon as those invested in them, respectively, wanted the money they were alleged to have had.

Re:The perceived value of high prices (4, Insightful)

OnlineAlias (828288) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724345)

You discount the fact that really big implementations nearly require VMware to work by simple virtue of the maturity of the product. By really big, I mean 1000 to 3000 guest servers and 10's of thousands of desktops. You think enterprise managers are going to go with Xen or Virtual box in these scenarios? Not a freaking chance. The marginal cost of the software is a pittance compared to the losses incurred when the project fails or even worse, when it sputters for a long time and then dies.

Here are some numbers.

VMware enterprise licensing and support= 2 mil.
Server hardware, infrastructure and storage= 4 mil
Professional services = 2 mil.
Overall savings to organization in in heating cooling, data center, backups, personnel and equipment refresh over 5 years= 10 mil.

Savings doing it with some other software= 500 grand (no one cares).
Failed project = -16 mil.

Comparing VMware to Starbucks as a luxury boutique product is nonsense. It is the only one that can and has actually delivered an enterprise capability.

Re:The perceived value of high prices (1)

jcookeman (843136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725105)

This.

I think I will stick with an integrated Solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723725)

Like Citrix XenServer [360is.com] . That way I can have a supported virtualization layer (XenServer), Application Management (XenApp, Presentation Server), and client (good old ICA). This just leaves me the decision on whether to take the plunge with true thin clients or stick with my laptops and desktops for now. Since there are now several thin client manufacturers around, I have plenty of choice.

I am no Microsoft fan... but since one-product companies like VMWare haven't tended to have good prospects after Microsoft enters their market. Netscape Navigator anyone? How about that hard disk compression company? Unfortunately I think VMWare's future is pre-determined.

AG

Now how about an ESX Client? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723745)

Great, now let's have a GUI for Virtualcenter/ESX that doesn't require Windows.

Re:Now how about an ESX Client? (3, Insightful)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724131)

Agreed. Even a web client. How hard is that, VMware?

    What company builds their product on top of Linux and then builds a GUI client that only runs on Winders?

Re:Now how about an ESX Client? (2, Funny)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724829)

What company builds their product on top of Linux and then builds a GUI client that only runs on Winders?

Citrix.

Re:Now how about an ESX Client? (1)

tweek (18111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724409)

Here here. It's sad that I have to have a VM of windows running to communicate with a Virtualcenter server hosting Linux VMs.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Re:Now how about an ESX Client? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725841)

Here here.

Where? Where?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Papa Echo Bravo Charlie Alpha Kilo.

Re:Now how about an ESX Client? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724727)

Somebody has got to mod this up...

I mean common, a Windows PC to run the Virtual Center?

Do you know how annoying this is to a shop that does not do Windows... ever?

Re:Now how about an ESX Client? (1)

LNX Systems Engineer (1443681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724977)

Yes, PLEAAASE. For that matter though, we need a VirtualCenter server that runs on Linux, too. Then I can wipe the one and only Windows (2003) box in my datacenter.

Re:Now how about an ESX Client? (2, Interesting)

LNX Systems Engineer (1443681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725041)

I hit submit before finding the article, but VMWare was talking about clients for Linux, iPhone (uh, why?), and OS X back in September of 2008. 5 months later and nothing to show for it. http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/151194/vmwares_virtualcenter_coming_to_linux_iphone.html [pcworld.com]

Too late (2, Informative)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723757)

I jumped ship to VirtualBox at the end of last year after being a long time VMWare Server user.

Server's switch to a terrible UI on version 2.0 and the fact that they continue to charge for VMWare fusion made me look for alternatives.

VMWare still has the best enterprise virtualization management products though in the meantime so I'm not terribly worried about them making a vanishing act.

Re:Too late (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724023)

VMware basically ruined whatever marketing value the zero cost VMware Server gambit provided. For those who aren't familiar with the drama:

VMware Server 1.x contains a straightforward native client that works efficiently as a console for virtual machines. It's the same basic client VMware has used for the last decade or so across the produce line. It isn't perfect, but it is very usable, stable, etc.

With the 2.x release they eliminated this client and replaced it with an enormous Tomcat+Java+Browser plugin mess that is slow, unstable, buggy, a memory hog and generally horrid.

Oh, and the download size went from ~120MB to >500MB, installs to 1.5GB, erects a complete Tomcat stack and mangles your browser(s) with nifty new plugins.

At one point VMware considered enhancing the new client to pop up goatse.cx images at random moments throughout the day to drive the last post-1.x holdouts to VirtualBox, but it turned out to be unnecessary. There aren't any holdouts.

Tragic really.

Re:Too late (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724371)

Yup, some things are better *without* a web browser interface.

Re:Too late (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725169)

You can still download and install 1.x. I do. I use it because I can do a headless desktop install accessed only through the client and run an autologin gnome session to run azureus plus plugins. Still haven't found a server side solution that meets my needs without a lot of scripting which I don't have time to do.

Re:Too late (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725611)

Yeah I tried to do a little project a year or so ago using VMWARE and it just wouldn't seem to do what I wanted. I looked for help on the net and along the way someone suggested VirtualBox. I wasn't getting any answers that helped with VMWARE so I tried VBox and it did the trick. Not as polished a product at the time but it did the job for me.

The clients free, but the server co$t$ (2, Informative)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723787)

VMware View Open Client lets you connect from a Linux desktop to remote Windows desktops managed by VMware View.

http://store.vmware.com/servlet/ControllerServlet?Action=DisplayPage&Env=BASE&Locale=en_US&SiteID=vmware&id=ProductDetailsPage&productID=94648100 [vmware.com]

VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Platinum (24x7) 3 Year Support

Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
        $2,456.25

VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Platinum (24x7) 2 Year Support

Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
        $2,197.50

VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Platinum (24x7) 1 Year Support

Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
        $1,875.00

VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Gold (12x5) 3 Year Support

Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
        $2,303.25

VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Gold (12x5) 2 Year Support

Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
        $2,085.90

VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Gold (12x5) 1 Year Support

Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
        $1,815.00

Hyper V - Free with Windows Server 2008 (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723913)

Uh,..good luck with that....

Re:Hyper V - Free with Windows Server 2008 (1)

diskis (221264) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724043)

Those prices seem to include support. What does the support for hyper-v cost? I'm under the impression that MS techsupport isn't exactly free :)

Games? (2, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723881)

The only reason I have a Windows image at home is for a couple of games. So far, only VMWare Workstation can handle Windows gaming with any decent speed since it supports DirectX. Do any of the other virtualizers work well with gaming? I'm talking about games like COD4, America's Army, and others based on the UT2/UT3 engine.

Re:Games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723953)

no.

Re:Games? (3, Informative)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724111)

The only reason I have a Windows image at home is for a couple of games. So far, only VMWare Workstation can handle Windows gaming with any decent speed since it supports DirectX. Do any of the other virtualizers work well with gaming? I'm talking about games like COD4, America's Army, and others based on the UT2/UT3 engine.

It most certainly doesn't handle games with decent speed. Lets look at the game compability list, updated this month:

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-1287 [vmware.com]

Now lets look at your games:

COD4 - "Starts up fine, but too slow to play. Frame rate is about 2 FPS at 640x480 with all settings reduced to minimum. VM settings - 1.5GB ram, 2 VCPU's, optimize for VM."

America's Army - Not on the list

UT2/UT3 - Not on the list. Not sure which games on the list might be derivatives

Other complaints even for games reported to work are "choppy sound, minor texture glitches", "Sluggish, but playable.", "Flawless; low FPS", "Flickery top bar and "Sticky" graphics"

This does not sound to me like something a frequent gamer would put up with, when dual booting would give much better results.

VMWare is to be applauded for their DirectX effort, but they're not quite there yet.

Re:Games? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724247)

I believe that americas army and ut2 are available natively for linux and mac anyway, and therefore don't need to be used under vmware...

Re:Games? (2, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724361)

America's Army for Linux/Mac is 2.5 (4 or 5 version behind), and has ceased to be supported. There are very, very few servers to play on. There are rumors the new 3.0 client will be back for Linux, but I'll believe it when I see it.

By UT2 I meant UT2-engine based games. Sorry for not being clear.

Re:Games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724201)

VirtualBox does OpenGL now. Anyone used it?

Too bad.. (1)

DSmith1974 (987812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723943)

..Sun's Virtual Box does it easier, quicker and got there first.

Re:Too bad.. (1)

Yosho (135835) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724583)

..Sun's Virtual Box does it easier, quicker and got there first.

Does Virtual Box support SMP yet? I don't know if it counts as "quicker" if it can only use one of my cores.

I don't get it (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26723973)

VMware has too many products. I don't understand the difference between:
  • VMware Fusion
  • VMware server
  • VMware workstation
  • VMware view
  • VMware ESX
  • VMware Player
  • VMware ACE

Is VMware viewer this product http://store.vmware.com/servlet/ControllerServlet?Action=DisplayPage&Env=BASE&Locale=en_US&SiteID=vmware&id=ProductDetailsPage&productID=94648100 [vmware.com] ? If so, what does it exactly do for me? Can I create virtual machines? Can I open .vm machines? Can I connect to some remote server hosting and running the machines, like a VNC?

Thanks,
~T~

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26724085)

You were not put upon this world to "get it"!

Re:I don't get it (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724545)

Mr. Burton

Re:I don't get it (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724433)

It is a replacement for rdesktop and RDP on Windows. Why? I cannot fathom why. It makes no sense really.

Re:I don't get it (4, Funny)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724437)

Easy :
        * VMware Fusion is for Windows Vista Starter
        * VMware server is for Windows Vista Home Basic
        * VMware workstation is for Windows Vista Premium
        * VMware view is for Windows Vista Business
        * VMware ESX is for Windows Vista Enterprise
        * VMware Player is for Windows Vista Ultimate
        * VMware ACE is for Windows 7

I think...

Re:I don't get it (3, Informative)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724597)

funny :)

but seriously, VMware Fusion is for OSX only and offers desktop integration. The rest are for linux and windows. Server & Player are free, as is ACE i think, but the rest are generally for cost.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725173)

Actually, this is a pretty good post. Unfortunately by posting anonymously, you've managed to get some useless responses to what appears to good, serious question.

Wikipedia has some good explanations of various VMware products and some differences between them. Some of them have more functionality than others. The free ones always do less than the pay versions, although what the free ones can do may be enough for some people.

Our VMware expert told me that at his previous job one of the VMware products was only available as a commercial product (no free version at that time - don't remember if that's still true) and although nowhere in their website did they say this, if you tried to buy it, VMware would refuse to sell it to you unless you bought support for it and the support contract cost more than the software did. He said that VMware was infamous for upselling required support and whatever you thought you were going to pay to buy stuff from VMware, in his experience it always cost more in reality. To be fair, this isn't true for everything they have though. We bought a lot of copies of Fusion at work and didn't have to pay for any support of them, just Fusion itself.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26725287)

Vmware Fusion - Desktop Virtualization for Mac Hosts
Vmware Server - Free Server Virtualization for Linux/Windows hosts
Vmware Workstation - Desktop Virtualization for Linux/Windows hosts
Vmware Player - Free Desktop Virtualization for Linux/Windows Hosts, missing many features that are in workstation
Vmware ACE - Product to add security and restrictions to workstation/player images for distribution

Vmware ESX - Server Virtualization, running it's own OS (hypervisor), so bare metal installs
Vmware View - A Connection Broker, to create and hand out virutalized desktops to end users

So what this product is, is a client that connects up to the Vmware Broker. This product will connect up to the VDM (the connection broker), and VDM will validate the authentication, determine what types of desktops you are allowed to use, and then connect to Virtual Center (vCenter) to power on/customize/clone a new desktop. That desktop will be a virtual machine running in an ESX farm. This will allow this client to pull up an RDP session to that virtulized desktop.

Client for GNU/Linux & Mac OS X (-1, Flamebait)

katakis (626399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26723983)

That is good. I use VMWare server at home, my main machine is running Ubuntu and my laptop is running Mac OS X. Sometimes I had to use a virtual windows to run the vmware client because, simply, Linux version does not include to send "Ctrl+Alt*Supr" to remote virtual machine or it becomes crazy for some strange reason (problems with X I guess). Worst, there is no version for Mac OS X.

Catering to SMEs (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724005)

I think VMware can gain a certain market share by catering to SMEs' needs as well.

1. VMotion between different hardware (e.g. between Intel and AMD CPUs, on very different motherboards).

2. Virtual environment (no need to run multiple guest OSes).

3. Storing VM on networked NAS (not sure if it's already supported).

4. With the above in place, shifting VMs at night onto a few physical servers (with different hardware) so as to save AC bill.

I know (1) and (2) are quite difficult to implement, and even if implemented, guest OS will either run slowly (fully virtualized CPU) or may not react well to the slightly different instruction sets in CPUs.

And of course, like all my requests to Santa, I can keep on dreaming in wonderland...

Re:Catering to SMEs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26725595)

VMware is working on #1, and you might see it in ESX 4.

Both #3 and #4 are already implemented in the current Virtual Infrastructure 3 line. In fact, #4 can be automated, so that VMs are consolodated onto fewer ESX servers and servers with no VMs are shut down, and then start back up if load increases.

VMware and Open Source (5, Informative)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724041)

VMware might not be a completely open source company but they've always been friendly towards open source software and make use of them. They've also contributed back as well such as extensions to the Linux kernel to make it run better as a guest in a paravirtualization environment, even though VMware can work using binary translation. They've also pushed heavily for an open VM format (OVF) so that users won't be locked into any specific virtualization vendor even though they're the dominant player in the market. They don't really see it as a zero-sum game. As long as virtualization as a whole keeps expanding, they benefit from it.

They also created and open sourced Review Board. [review-board.org]

VMware is very engineer driven and engineers have a tendency to favor openness.

What it is... (1)

amcdiarmid (856796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724251)

It appears that (VMView) this is a client to connect to a virtualized machine (desktop) much in the same manner as the Citrix ICA client, but specifically for Linux.

The VMware Virtual Desktop Initiative (VDI) seems to have been renamed VMware View: Formerly, you had to use a paid for client (Citrix licensed?) to reach a hosted workstation. Your options were (correct in response please) use RDP clients (bad for sound), a Citrix-involved client (cost, but you can get video), or the VMware Infrastructure Console (VIC) which is a bit kludgy on the admin overhead.

The specifics for this is that you can have a non-admin user connect to hosted machines (linux or windows) from a linux box (thin client) at no additional cost. The play seems to be for thin client boxes to include the VMware View connector at no cost, eg: saturating the market.

The reason for this is likely to gain parity with Citrix's ubiquity on Thin Client Boxes. Up to now, thin clients tend to have some version of the Citrix ICA client, a version of the Microsoft RDP client, and perhaps a X client, and a 3270/5250 terminal emulator. With many thin client manufacturers going to Linux based thin clients, this is an easy way to get the VMware client on Thin Clients cheap.

You will still pay for the core product, but (hopefully) no longer will have to pay extra for the Thin Client necessary to run the VMware View (aka VDI) "system." For slashdot users, who buy Thin clients for $9 (used) this will have no effect. You will still have to kludge users into the remote users group on each workstation, and configure each thin client to connect to the correct virtualized machine.

This has no effect on Xen (Citrix Virtualization), or Hyper-V (Microsoft Virtualization), or ESX clusters, Workstation, or Server (VMWare Virtualization). All of those will still be host bound, except for ESX - which will allow virtual systems to be moved around to maximize physical host resources.

I want a Linux client for ESX! (1)

awpoopy (1054584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724573)

There's about 25 pages on the forum with Linux IT people pleading for a Linux client. Maybe, just maybe, bringing on a "long time microsoft executive" as ceo wasn't such a good thing...maybe.

R U kidding? (2, Interesting)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#26724881)

> stave off Microsoft's dominance...
I am sorry, everyone knows VMWare had dominance, and never lost it for visualization.
M$ had to buy VirtualPC to compete, and even then could not make it work all that great.
They now improved on the technology with HyperVM, but have yet to transfer any client base from VMWare's list of clients, and therefor still have not come close to dominance.

I hate articles that are clueless about what they write, the writer wants to write a story about VMWare, but should stick with the facts, when they know nothing about the market shares involved.
This will just add to the great lead that VMWare has over any other in the field.

Re:R U kidding? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26725431)

Mozilla vs MSIE. Mozilla was superior to MSIE in just about everyway and it was free for download. MSIE won because it was included. Superior products do not win unless on a neutral playing field. And Windows is not neutral when it is against MS.
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