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VMware "Miles Ahead" of Microsoft Virtual Server

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the virtualize-this dept.

209

sunshineluv7 writes, "IT managers gathered in New York City earlier this week to get advice from experts on when, why, and how to virtualize their server environments. The takeaway from the conference: if you want to run an enterprise-class virtualization platform in production today, stick with VMware." Other wise words from this conference: "Virtualization is a journey, not a project."

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Binary Translation (3, Interesting)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231713)

VMWare does on-the-demand binary translation (BT) to avoid traps. I could be wrong, but I don't think Microsoft Virtual Server does BT.

Re:Binary Translation (4, Interesting)

angryargus (559948) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232093)

Virtual Server does BT (it has to in order to work on non-VT processors), but Xen doesn't do BT (which is why Xen needs paravirtualiztion support in Linux, and VT processors for Windows).

It's TBD on whether "Windows Server Virtualization" will use BT, but I suspect they'll drop it. With Intel processors it's not possible to do BT when using VT on x64 processors in 64-bit mode (however it is possible on AMD processors).

Re:Binary Translation (1)

Rezonant (775417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232121)

What kind of useless speculation is that?

It does JIT (or BT as you call it). Otherwise it would be unbearably slow. It might not do it as efficiently as VMware though.

Re:Binary Translation (1)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232153)

Right, I was confused to because certain instructions are used for both user-mode and privilege mode and they do different things. Someone told me that the Microsoft Virtual Server "emulates" these instructions instead of "translating" them. Yes, useless speculation.

Re:Binary Translation (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16233629)

Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. VMware can crash both in VM and on the real box just as well as any application.

VMware (5, Informative)

dlichterman (868464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231723)

Its also awesome that VMWare Server is available free to download. I installed it on my laptop running Ubuntu and can run Windows XP.

http://www.vmware.com/download/server/ [vmware.com]

Re:VMware (5, Informative)

Acer500 (846698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231913)

Microsoft's Virtual Server is also available for free:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtu alserver/software/default.mspx [microsoft.com]

Won't run on Ubuntu obviously :P

But is it cursed? (2, Funny)

birder (61402) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234441)

Well, VMware Server comes with a free Frogurt.

Re:VMware (4, Interesting)

Instine (963303) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232173)

I'm not sure which builds exactly, but I know I tried three times, and failed three times to put Vista (Beta2 and RC1) on VPC and failed three times. Worked for each buold first time on VMWare. I mean come on M$! Its hard not to flamebait, when they're just failing so badly. What do they think all the developers of the world are going to do with their pre-public releases?

Re:VMware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16233087)

hmmm, install it directly on our PC? It's not like we're not used to reinstall MS OSes anyway....

Seriously (yes, the previous line was a joke), vmware is not the ideal environment to test out the latest GUI wonders of MS-Windows Vista. I understand that there are plenty other less obvious new features, but these are _less obvious_.

Re:VMware (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233661)

I had no problem getting Vista installed in VPC, albeit, it took like 4 hours (dual 2.7ghz G5 w/ 2GB RAM). It also ran so slow, it was barely usable, and I couldn't get sound or networking working.

Re:VMware (1)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233783)

I'm not sure which builds exactly, but I know I tried three times, and failed three times to put Vista (Beta2 and RC1) on VPC and failed three times.

I'm not sure what you were doing wrong, then. I've installed every build since 5368 on MS Virtual Server 2005 R2 (Release, and with the SP Beta) and they all work. What they don't all support are the VM Extensions required to get any kind of decent performance out of it. Vista betas and the RC1 were slow enough as is; without the Extensions, it was pretty much a slideshow. There is a beta VM Extension available from Microsoft Connect [microsoft.com] which is free for all to download if you want. Those extensions worked for most pre-RC1 builds, but I don't think they've been updated for the actual RC1 yet.

Re:VMware (2, Funny)

ModemRat (701119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233869)

What do they think all the developers of the world are going to do with their pre-public releases?


If you are like a co-worker of mine, shout "oooOOO Vista is out!" and wipe your HD and install the beta on your primary computer.

Re:VMware (1)

hacker (14635) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232887)

And you probably got the poor performance too. Why not stick with VMware Workstation, its much, MUCH faster (especially on single-proc machines) and supports a lot more than Server does (currently).

Re:VMware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16233089)

Did you miss the "free" bit?

In all objectivity... (-1, Troll)

sdirrim (909976) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231737)

Although VMware appears to be better for now, will it have the same level of support and compatibility that Microsoft provides? And will it be able to continue inproving, or will MS overtake it in the near future? This is not a criticism of VMwaer, it is something to consider before completely favoring VMware.

Re:In all objectivity... (2, Insightful)

nolife (233813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231865)

So how long do you wait? I've used VMWare ESX server in production for years and more recently the scaled down VMServer and MS virtual server. ESX is quantum leaps above the current MS offerings, they are not even playing on the same field. In fact, even the free VMServer product from VM is far better then the MS virtual server product IMHO.
I have no doubt MS will improve the product and add functionality as time goes on but they are currently WAY behind and not making great strides at this time.

You can wait but you will be waiting a looong time, at least years. Keep in mind, VMWare products are improving as well.

   

Re:In all objectivity... (1)

Feyr (449684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232529)

vmware might very well be better, but ms allows you to run 4 virtual servers with 1 license of MS windows server 2003 R2. i doubt they allow it if you use vmware

feel free to correct me with a link if im wrong

Re:In all objectivity... (1)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232653)

The licence just states that if you are running 2003 R2 as the host OS you can run 4 instances of it as VMs on the same server. It doesn't dictate that you must use the MS virtual server product but it does limit you inthe fact you could not do the same with the FULL ESX product from VMware since it becomes the host. You could however use the free VMware server hosted on a 2003 R2 system, as the licence is worded right now anyway.

Re:In all objectivity... (2, Informative)

OnlineAlias (828288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233793)

The virtual copies are tied to the OS, not the VM software. So yes, you can run 4 copies legally on VM.

Re:In all objectivity... (3, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231957)

Although VMware appears to be better for now, will it have the same level of support and compatibility that Microsoft provides?

If you are referring to compatibility amongst MS products I suspect the answer would be yes, it will probably work great for running MS products on top of MS products. However, keeping in mind MS' contempt for their customers coupled with the fact that MS has a very very difficult time "playing fair" with any competitors, I would assume that anything other than a MS product that you try to run will fail. It will not fail miserably or refuse to install, it will just be "buggy" and MS will point the finger squarely at whatever "unsupported" OS it is that you are using. Now as far as compatibilty goes, could you elaborate what you mean there? MS is famous for not being compatible with anything (including older MS software itself). You will also want to keep in mind that VMWare has been doing this for a long time. This is Internet2 for MS -- they missed the boat big-time and are now trying to catch up.

Re:In all objectivity... (1)

saridder (103936) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232207)

I was at this forum, and MS said that it will operate other OS'. They're also going to include the Hypervisor free in all copies of Longhorn. This certainly is better than Novell's first crack at it - their Linux version could only run thier OS.

Re:In all objectivity... (2, Interesting)

Rob Riggs (6418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232807)

I'm no fan of Novell, but their "first crack at it" was a technology preview of Xen, which by its own admission only supported OSes that have been ported to the Xen hypervisor. It's not like the Xen folks could get the Windows XP source and release a version ported to Xen, now, could they? They were not claiming it would work with other OSes without VT.

Your comment about that seems like an attempt to deflect attention away from the GP's implied point, which was... the knowledge, borne out of years of experience, of just about everyone I know in this industry that must administer a heterogeneous computing environment, that MS does not play nice with others. Every admin, when they consider using MS products in such an environment, has to ask himself, "How will Microsoft fsck me over with this decision?"

I'm doing that now, even as I advocate moving our NIS maps into Active Directory, converting from NIS to LDAP and doing SSO with Kerberos using AD as the KDC.

Re:In all objectivity... (1)

ShakaZ (1002825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233105)

I'm no fan of Novell, but their "first crack at it" was a technology preview of Xen, which by its own admission only supported OSes that have been ported to the Xen hypervisor. It's not like the Xen folks could get the Windows XP source and release a version ported to Xen, now, could they? They were not claiming it would work with other OSes without VT.
In fact when Xen was first released the author said it ran Windows XP if a (or some) files were replaced... he didn't release the modified files only to avoid lawsuits from M$. Second fact the latest cpu's from intel & amd support virtualization so that Xen could be able to run Windows or any other unmodified OS....

Re:In all objectivity... (0)

haruchai (17472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232267)

Wow, you must be the poster child for the effects of Microsoft marketing spin. It's sad that this is what we've come to. VMware is not the only product that does what it does but it does it very well.
And, it's their main product, their bread-and-butter.
That's not the case with Virtual Server so there is no guarantee that Microsoft will continue to support it - and, with the release of Vista on the horizon, they have a lot bigger fish to fry in the short term.

As to whether, or not, Virtual Server will overtake it, who can say? It will probably take a few years and VMware won't stand still

Re:In all objectivity... (1)

sdirrim (909976) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232513)

In response to the personal jab: I brought up a possibly overlooked aspect of the software. I didn't say that it made MS or VMware better than the other. I just posed it for people to consider. In other words, I am MS's "poster child" because I actually THINK about things instead of blindly touting one side or the other. From the post: "This is not a criticism of VMware". I post food for thought, and because I am not a fanboy, I am labeled as an overrated flamer who is the "poster child for the effects of Microsoft marketing spin". Remember, I did NOT say that VMware was bad, or even that MS was better than VMware. It was just a simple possibility to consider. Now, for speaking my mind, I will be flamed out of existence. Thank you.

Re:In all objectivity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16232641)

Now, for speaking my mind, I will be flamed out of existence. Thank you.

You're very welcome. :-D

Re:In all objectivity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16234077)

"I brought up a possibly overlooked aspect of the software. I didn't say that it made MS or VMware better than the other."

Your first post read like a MS fanboy reaching for straws as if someone called your baby ugly. Sorry, that's how it read.

Re:In all objectivity... (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234211)

That's not the case with Virtual Server so there is no guarantee that Microsoft will continue to support it - and, with the release of Vista on the horizon, they have a lot bigger fish to fry in the short term.

Actually, that wouldn't be the Vista team working on that. They have already said they are putting it into Longhorn. [microsoft.com]

If they do that, MS will be the leader in virtualization. It will be there, why not use it? Kind of like msn.com as a homepage.

Re:In all objectivity... (0)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233449)

Although VMware appears to be better for now, will it have the same level of support and compatibility that Microsoft provides?

God I hope not. If VMWare gave end-users (that paid for the software) the level of support that MS gives end-users (that paid for the software,) I wouldn't even be able to open a ticket without forking over additional large $$$. Nope, I hope VMWare keeps up with the high quality of support it gives paying users and doesn't stoop to the non-support level MS has.

Re:In all objectivity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16233995)

God I hope not. If VMWare gave end-users (that paid for the software) the level of support that MS gives end-users (that paid for the software,) I wouldn't even be able to open a ticket without forking over additional large $$$. Nope, I hope VMWare keeps up with the high quality of support it gives paying users and doesn't stoop to the non-support level MS has.

I wish VMware would provide ANY support for their Workstation product. I started using VMware Workstation with version 4. Didn't have a single problem for a year and a half. Then all of a sudden, it starts locking up. Not just a guest OS lockup. The host system locks up. The host (running RHEL 3) completly disapperas from the network. Nothing written to log files, no kernel panic, not a dam thing. Funny thing, it ONLY happens when running VMware. No other application.

So I put in a support call. What's the response? "Uh, we haven't seen that before. Sorry, don't know what to do. Try reinstalling your host OS. If that doesn't work, try UPGRADING to VMware Workstation 5. Do you want me to close your support ticket or leave it open?" I couldn't make this shit up. This by the way is the response for a user (me) that has PAID for gold support from VMware. I talked to a friend of mine who is experiencing the EXACT same thing, and has gotten the same response from support. I've searched the knowledge base, vmware forums, etc., all with no answer.

I guess sticking you head in the sand and ignoring the problem is the VMware support way to go.

VMWare is no good (0, Troll)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231767)

I recently tried the free version of VMWare on Windows XP. Their documentation is horrible and it definitely looks like they want people to buy it than use the free version. I tried loading all version of Linux from Red Hat Linux to Ubuntu all of which failed at some point. Frustrated, I've given up...

Re:VMWare is no good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16231885)

Are you just a moron? Its run everything I've thrown at it with out any problems. What kind of issues did you run into?

Re:VMWare is no good (4, Informative)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231923)

Actually I was able to use the free VMWare player on XP and install Ubuntu 6.06 (http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/directory/5 59 [vmware.com] ), which is one of the Virtual Appliances available on the VMWare site. It was pretty cool.

Re:VMWare is no good (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16231963)

Wow... I've had the exact oposite experience. I've been using Server, Workstation, and more recently infrastructure and haven't had any trouble virtualizing multiple distros of linux, win xp, and win 2003 server on several different hardware platforms. For me at least, it just works.

Re:VMWare is no good (3, Funny)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232019)

Ive run VMWare on multiple platforms and have never had a single issue.. Ok one or two but they were my own fault. Support forums out there are nice and I havent ever had to explain to someone how to set it up beyond the initial "Go to this URL". If you have given up on understanding VMWare I would suggest staying away from other technologies such as OpenOffice, any version of Linux, and for that matter I would just box up your PC and ship it back. Make sure you dont use any sharp objects either....

Ya I know I went overboard :)

Re:VMWare is no good (3, Insightful)

burnt_cajun_toast (766392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232039)

I've used VMWare and found that you might need to change some of the install options for Redhat (or Suse for that matter) to get them to install in VMWare. A few were ACPI=off, IDE=nodma and sometimes it was just a video option and the installs worked just fine.

Re:VMWare is no good (1)

lubricated (49106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232299)

haha, I think they are talking about servers here. So if some dumbass can't figure it out, they probably don't care.

Re:VMWare is no good (1)

monkeybrainsoup (584442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232575)

I recently tried using MS Virtual Server to create VMs for Fedora Core and CentOS. For all of these it seemed like I got throught the install process but upon "rebooting" I got death. For the free VMWare, Fedora Core worked like a charm the first time. I'll probably end up using MS for MS guests and VMWare for everything else.

Re:VMWare is no good (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233293)

Could you define Death?

Was the screen resolutions shot, and colors wacked out?

There is a known problem with MS Virtual PC (I know you said server) in Millions of Colors mode because they don't do 24 bit graphics at all, however if you setup the box in 16 bit mode or Thousands of Colors the box should be fine.

I mention it here in my FC5 install guide Step 26
http://www.plainenglishsecurity.com/Fedora5.html [plainenglishsecurity.com]

I've tried FC6 RC3 but it dies very early on in the graphical install, probably due to the same issue, I haven't found a boot option for color depth just resolution so I'm waiting for FC6 Final to try again.

Similarly in VMServer (the free one) I couldn't get FC5 to work after the partition gets written, no problem doing the same install on VMWare Workstation though.

Re:VMWare is no good (1)

o-hayo (700478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233789)

Don't bother. Use VMWare for everything. It works great and your VMs will be portable across all your host servers. We have ESX here running Windows 2000 / 2003 / Ubuntu LAMP servers. I have Workstation and Player running light testing machines for Office 2007 Beta. I don't have to smash my laptop into pieces testing pre-release or beta software, including OS. If I have an image I need someone else to look at I can copy it and port it around our network. Having a mix of MS VPC and VMware would make that suck to the point of not being useful.

Ohya, and the only place I've seen virtualization used that WAS NOT VMWare, were some Microsoft courses I took awhile back.

Re:VMWare is no good (1)

rec9140 (732463) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233349)

To handle distro of the week or day or hour I use the VMPlayer and the Live CD Virtual Machine. DL ISO, create a directory for it, dump ISO in directory, rename to livecd.iso, boot up VMP. Can't beat it.

I've got several distros installed to virtual HD's that I can boot up and try things on. fubar'd the install up, no probelm resotre the back up of the virtual HD, back to where I left off. I am not touching msleases product, I don't want it even if its free.

I spend 99% of my day in Linux doing day to day business. Thanks to VMWare and I am now ready to Penquinista things! Solve a few hardware issues on some PC's related to Highpoint onboard IDE RAID and Soyo Ultra Dragon Motherboards and its all gone from my systems.

VMWare is the only game as far as I am concerned. m$ can just go away.

virtual bsod? (4, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231775)

Help me/us countryfolk understand: So if you get a BSOD in a virtual environemnt, are you dead or not? I imagine that with some of the Windows hardware hooks, you'd probably be dead anyhow, so it wouldn't matter if you were virtually dead or really dead.

Re:virtual bsod? (5, Informative)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231797)

Just for that VM. Now if the Host OS BSODs....thats bad for all VMs.

Re:virtual bsod? (3, Informative)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232679)

> Just for that VM. Now if the Host OS BSODs....thats bad for all VMs.

Thats why you run a stripped down linux on Host and no apps (at least in server environment) :-)
I am surprised there is no "vmware-host" Linux distro - something perfectly barebones and lightweight to run vmware server on :-)Of course maybe there is one and I just have not found it yet ;-)

-Em

Re:virtual bsod? (4, Informative)

Tmack (593755) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233027)

Its VMWare's non-free ESX server. You boot directly into a VMWare style OS, where you directly run VMs. It also has the benefit to pause/resume VMs, and even export them to other VM Servers on other hardware. Its like a Game Genie for servers!

tm

Re:virtual bsod? (3, Funny)

gkhan1 (886823) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233573)

Its like a Game Genie for servers!

I love slashdot!

Re:virtual bsod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16234069)

The only problem I have found with ESX is that it requires a RAID controller just so you can setup Virtual Machines, and I find it very annoying that you have to shell out money for overpriced SCSI drives in order to make use of ESX. I know there are a few select IDE/SATA RAID cards that work with ESX, but I've only found one that is PCI Express and it is way too expensive for me. A few others are PCI-X, and don't even support SATA300. Does anyone know of a work around so that you can use ESX with an Areca (or any other brand) PCI Express RAID card?

Re:virtual bsod? (2)

Jagasian (129329) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233039)

VMware's ESX Server packaging of their virtualization technology includes a stripped down kernel that is basically designed to only run virtualizers. So you get improved performance and reliability due to the simplified host OS. More at the Wikipedia page for VMware [wikipedia.org] .

Re:virtual bsod? (1)

goldarg (227346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233103)

There is one, Its VMWare ESX Server http://www.vmware.com/products/vi/esx/ [vmware.com] I have used Version 2 at my place of work and its essentially a small RPM based distro maintained by VMware themselves.

Re:virtual bsod? (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233485)

There is one, Its VMWare ESX Server http://www.vmware.com/products/vi/esx/ [vmware.com] I have used Version 2 at my place of work and its essentially a small RPM based distro maintained by VMware themselves.


I understand that, I was just wondering why there is no similar free distro for VMWare Server (the free VMWare one :-) )

-Em

Re:virtual bsod? (3, Insightful)

Jehosephat2k (562701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231803)

BSODs only crash the virtual environment, not the host machine.

Re:virtual bsod? (2, Funny)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232741)

I've even seem a VMWare Vmotion demonstration where a guest machine BSOD'd and you could still seamlessly move that guest machine across different VMWare servers, essentially moving the BSOD around.

Not sure what the practical point is, but it was amusing.

Re:virtual bsod? (2, Insightful)

hockpatooie (312212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232765)

The body cannot live without the mind.

Re:virtual bsod? (2, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233929)

A VM is just that: a virtual machine. It has its own BIOS. It acts like a full computer. It boots off a (virtual or real) disk. It has "hardware" - video card, sound card, network adapter, etc. all virtual representations of the real machine.

Think of it as a full computer within a window.

If you boot a copy of Windows, in a VM, it nevers "sees" the host system, it sees this virtual machine in such a way as it is indistinguishable from a real one. The only apparent connection between the virtual machine and the host (real) one from the perspective of the VM is that they can ping each other, over the network, same as any other two machines.

The host machine, however, can do a number of things. You can reset the VM, which is like hitting the reset button. You can save a snapshot - sort of like copying the entire HDD and saving a backup copy that you can revert to. You can suspend the VM, which is kind of like a pause button. The suspended VM can then be copied over to another computer, and the pause unset, so a single program can, without terminating or rebooting, be switched to another computer while still running!

This is the basis for using VMs for high availability.

And, it's pretty damned cool. I've had up to 4 virtual machines running on my Linux laptop, all within a virtual LAN. (they were networked, could ping each other, etc., each running applications, etc) It wasn't native speed, but it was quick enough to be useful.

Anecdotal evidence of VMWare being better (4, Interesting)

Acer500 (846698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231853)

It's mostly anecdotal, but I work at a Microsoft shop, and several developers still clamor for VMWare even though we have Virtual Server for free, as it seems to be a lot better performance-wise.

I'm still waiting for an update to Virtual PC, there the difference is abysmal.

Also, would it be possible to emulate some other hardware? The current video card emulated by Virtual PC won't support Aero.

Re:Anecdotal evidence of VMWare being better (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16231933)

Why would anyone listen to anything said here, this site and the people that post here are so skewed against MS it totally invalidates 90% of the content.

Re:Anecdotal evidence of VMWare being better (1)

dan828 (753380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232305)

Wait a minute. You thought that you were supposed to be taking things seriously here? On Slashdot?

Re:Anecdotal evidence of VMWare being better (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232389)

Last time I checked, no virtualization solution supported hardware graphics acceleration. I was surprised; I didn't think it would be too hard to do using OpenGL.

WAN (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16231899)

Does anyone have any experience in virtualization technology in a WAN? Linux hosts vs MS hosts.

I have been researching the feasability of operating a WAN with multiple domains. Each domain to be hosted as a Virtual server in a central location where the client LAN's are connected via VPN. I have researched a bit of Xen, MS Virtual Server, and VMware. Currently vmware server is leading but as slashdotters we are all tinkerers. I am wondering who out there has tried this setup with vmware or Xen and their thoughts.

Re:WAN (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233061)

One of us seems to be confused. WAN is networking - outside the computer. Virtualization is inside the computer. Your question is kinda like asking if you can drive a car in a state that has a river. Can you manage a virtualized machine over a WAN? Yes. Can you access a VM over a WAN? Yes. A VM "server" is no different than a traditional server other than it doesn't have dedicated, direct, and unrestricted access to hardware resources. Keep in mind that accessing an application via a WAN when you have traditionally accessed it via a LAN may have a severe performance impact.

Re:WAN (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233597)

Sorry, let me be a bit more specific. I would like to create a WAN where all clients use a VPN to connect to a Virtual Server. This Server would use Server 2003 and Exchange to manage their Active directory and mail. Advantages are obvious, I am wanting to know if anyone has tried this setup (managing multiple domains through a VPN with a virtual server).

Technically this works, but I have yet to see examples of a working environment. Which means either no one has done it yet, it is not feasable at this point, or no one has felt like documenting it.

All of my experiences with wirtual server has been with a high speed LAN and single domain. Some people have mentioned things such as being aware of shadow copy capabilities of the host OS. I have no experience with XEN or accessing a virtual machine over a WAN.

Is this a bit clearer?

Re:WAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16233609)

Either I misunderstand your question or you misunderstand the OSI model [wikipedia.org] . This is not meant to be a flame but I can't think of a nicer way to say it.

Re:WAN (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233683)

Sorry I wrote the post in a hurry, I re-read it and it didnt make any sense at all. Check my better explanation in my reply above.

Linux-for-Windows screensaver ? (3, Interesting)

quiberon2 (986274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232101)

The quick and dirty virtualisation is with the Linux-for-Windows Screensaver [thepiratebay.org] ; screenshot here [linuxtracker.org]

Real Virtual (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232109)

Where's the study/chart contrasting VMWare with Xen virtualization? Those are the two to watch - Microsoft will just copy whichever one (or features) serves MS better.

Re:Real Virtual (3, Informative)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232961)

Where's the study/chart contrasting VMWare with Xen virtualization?

Probably in the section that's prominently labelled "RELATED CONTENT" that directly follows the article? A virtual representation of the relevant link:

How does Xen stack up against Virtual Server, VMware? [techtarget.com]

Shame they require registration.

At any rate, I'm sure everyone would agree that the vwmare Wikipedia Article [wikipedia.org] is probably the most comprehensive source for information. Comparisons with other technologies are included.

Re:Real Virtual (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233417)

Thanks for the helpful kick in the head.

OT: That comparison says "Benchmarks run against Xen and VMware show that, in some respects, Xen performs better by almost an entire order of magnitude." I wish we geeks had already gone through the kind of discussion about "orders of magnitude" that we had about decimal vs binary "mega/giga" (MB/MiB). I'd like to know the difference between orders of decimal magnitude and orders of binarary magnitubi. Decimal seems an arbitrary order scale, especially when we usually talk in terms of centissimal orders (percentage). But binary seems most appropriate, self-scaling according to the size of the base unit.

Evaluated both Virtual Server vs VMWare Server (1)

duplicate-nickname (87112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232165)

We have been looking at which technology to go with and I currently have two production systems up hosting virtual servers (one with VMWare Server, the other with Virtual Server 2003 R2). These are hosted on Windows 2003 Servers, and the guests are also Windows 2003. Although both products have been performing fairly well, we have had a few problems with the VMWare server (pausing/unpausing the server through the command line fails occasionally). Also, when SP1 comes out for VS 2003, it will officially support shadow copy so we can do live backups of the virtual images.

At this point, we have decided to go with MS Virtual Server to consolidate our servers. On the other hand, all of our test, development and demo environments are in VMWare Workstation and VMWare Player. VMWare Workstation is way ahead of Virtual PC.

Re:Evaluated both Virtual Server vs VMWare Server (1)

curmudgeous (710771) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233187)

Your big mistake was in putting VMware on top of Windows. I'd advise you to go with their ESX product (or whatever their current release is called) which runs on its own custom linux kernel.

any-any patches (1)

just-a-stone (766843) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232387)

i use vmware since version 4.0 and it always worked as expected. the one thing i don't like about it is sealing with any-any patches. we build and deploy our own linux kernels and therefore, we have to recompile the vmware modules.
this wouldn't be the problem, if only vmnet or any other vmware module wouldn't need to be patched to avoid freezes. sometimes we had to alter the build perl scripts because it does not take the gcc from the environment but searches it for itself (and that diesn't have to be the version our kernel was compiled with). a better update system or maybe distribution integration (commercial branch) would be much better.

i know it's another kind of virtualization and maybe a bit off-topc, but since they are availeable, i love solaris 10 zones - if another virtual solaris box is all you need (haven't tried linux in zones yet and wouldn't use it in production systems), it's almost perfect.

I finally replaced Windows at work (4, Interesting)

TheLetterZ (734720) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232471)

I finally replaced XP at work with Kubuntu. The one thing holding me back was actually none other than iTunes - yeah sure I could use amarok, but I have purchased a lot of music on iTMS plus I like iTunes' radio channels and iTunes in general. And by the way, I also have a lot of historic Outlook mail.

I installed VMWare on my Dell laptop, created a 30GB partition (of which 20GB is MP3/M4P), installed the Dell XP Pro OEM version in VMWare, which automatically picked up the system's XP key, and I got iTunes running in VMWare, Office 2003 for historical mail and the odd Word/Powerpoint/Excel documents which OpenOffice 2 has difficulties handling.

I guess the ironic part here is that I had to install an antivirus program on a laptop running Linux, but now that Evolution gets along just fine with the company's Exchange 2003 server (even the calendar entries shows up - I am impressed at how good it actually is!), I am in general a much happier human being running Linux, and I have the best of both worlds (depending on your point of view) being able to run iTunes and Office 2003 on my Linux laptop!

Re:I finally replaced Windows at work (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232993)

How do you run Office 2003 on Linux? AFAIK CxOffice doesn't support it yet.

ESX vs GSX (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232591)

The free one is fine for messing around with, and probably better than the Microsoft version anyway on that platform (plus the other stuff it can do), but the ESX is where its at for more serious work...

Unlike the free version, you don't install it on a server that's already running something like windows server 2003 or ubuntu, you instead install it as the base OS on the box, and then run whatever virtual servers you want on top of that. Its one less layer to worry about, and the performance is superior.

I've run just about every kind of server we have on here via this, even older things like Novell servers. Getting rid of old servers is one of the best reasons to go to vmware... They have a migration tool that essentially virtualizes and existing box, as long as no one's hitting it directly by the IP address the next day they come in most of them won't even know they're hitting a virtual server.

In most cases I find it easier to not tell them, otherwise people somehow get worried if you try to explain to them that they're not using a physical server...

Re:ESX vs GSX (1)

lowlight777 (560914) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233391)

i've been using ESX and Virtual Center (VC) for that last few months and have to say it rocks. i have successfully installed XP, 2003, 2003r2, 2000, Ubuntu, RedHat2, RedHat AS2.1, Suse9, Suse10, Suse8. all with out issue for my testing. once i'm finished with this project i plan on upgrading to Virutal Infrastructure 3. i've been completely impressed with VMware, there stuff works really well.

Why do people buy the MS promises? (0)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232647)

From the article:
Nevertheless, said Wolf, a large number of IT shops are investigating Microsoft's offering. "They are buying in to the future that Microsoft is promising."
When are people who control IT budgets going to see that MS always delivers less than promised, later than promised? OK, I know that many (most?) s/w development projects are late to deliver, but when comparing something that exists today with promises from MS, why would one believe the promise?

Re:Why do people buy the MS promises? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16234279)

When are people who control IT budgets going to see that MS always delivers less than promised, later than promised?

Simple, your average CIO/CTO does not have a brain big enough to understand something that does not look familiar like their desktop. Makes them feel comfortable thinking they can move files around like their big admins do.

I don't mean this as a jab, I mean this for real. There are no other explainations I have ever heard, FUD and BS excluded that would explain why you would run a sever that:

  • Has graphics and screen savers burrning CPU that could be used for network users.
  • Is hacked and so insecure it costs a lot to patch, maintain and remediate
  • Is inferior in network capacity and reliability
  • Scales so poorly compared to the alternatives.
  • Add it up, AV, FW, compiler, DB costs etc, costs more

But it looks pretty and similar to their desktop. And maybe their retirement fund has shares in Micro$oft and maybe comes with with a free lunch. Or perhaps this is all wrong and it is so management does not need to hire smart people.

OBVIOUS (1)

BarkerSTG (784989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232667)

if this were fark.com .... tag on this would be Obvious. ;)

Re:OBVIOUS (1)

sunshineluv7 (992582) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232967)

..then I'll post it to Fark.com :o)

VMWare hardware virtualization? (0)

aclarke (307017) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232725)

This seems as good a place as any to ask these quesions... Last weekend I bought a core 2 duo CPU and related hardware for a new home server. I decided to do all my server work within virtual machines, and am using VMWare. Debian and Ubuntu don't support my motherboard yet (Asus P5B-VM) so I'm using a Windows Server 2003 x64 trial as my host OS.

I haven't been following hardware that much in recent years, but I know the conroe chips have hardware-based virtualization. I'm pretty sure Microsoft's Virtual Server supports this, as does Xen, but does VMWare? This seems like it would be a Big Deal. Just for fun I ran super pi on my host OS and on my Windows virtual machine, and actually got a FASTER score in the VM so I'm not disappionted by its performance so far.

Also, I've noticed that VMWare is a 32-bit program, so how is its support for 64-bit virtual machines? I only have 2GB of RAM at the moment, but can I get a 64-bit Windows VM to recognize 6GB of RAM if I load up my host?

Re:VMWare hardware virtualization? (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233003)

Also, I've noticed that VMWare is a 32-bit program, so how is its support for 64-bit virtual machines? I only have 2GB of RAM at the moment, but can I get a 64-bit Windows VM to recognize 6GB of RAM if I load up my host?


You have to remmember that VMWare is virtualization and NOT emulation - meaning that your CPU is doing the actual processing, not the VMWare software - so if your CPU supports 64 bit, it will be 64 bit capable. I am not sure about the memory question though....

-Em

Re:VMWare hardware virtualization? (2, Informative)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233269)

Search the Vmware forums. Basically if your 64-bit processor supports hardware VT, you can run 64-bit guests.

http://www.vmware.com/community/index.jspa?categor yID=1 [vmware.com]

There is a RAM limit; I believe each Guest can access up to 3.6GB. However, having more RAM on the host means you can have more Guests (barring bottlenecks.)

See:
http://pubs.vmware.com/server1/wwhelp/wwhimpl/js/h tml/wwhelp.htm [vmware.com]

--Check the Index under R (Ram).

--Honestly, if a VM requires more than 3.6GB RAM you probably should be running its functionality on a physical box.

Re:VMWare hardware virtualization? (1)

EbbTide (966055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234263)

The latest version of VMWare (at least ESX 3.0 anyway) supports 64 bit virtualization, hardware virtualization, and also has over the 3.6gb ceiling for memory. I'm not sure what GSX offers.

VMware Debian problem? (1)

radu.stanca (857153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232729)

Didn`t check with the latest version, but with 4.0 I was unable to install Sarge, anyway I`m using vserver [linux-vserver.org] for any virtualization thingie, not so powerfull but more stable than Xen, atm.

Re:VMware Debian problem? (1)

xmodem_and_rommon (884879) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232929)

I'm running etch in vmware server without problems. What profile are you using? Vmware doesn't provide one for debian.

Re:VMware Debian problem? (1)

radu.stanca (857153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233333)

I was some months ago, so i don`t remember, probably "Red Hat" or "Other"...keep in mind that it was VMware 4.0 so probably the bug a fixed.

Portability (4, Informative)

Spez (566714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232913)

I have tested Virtual PC, Virtual Server and VMWare Server and VMWare Workstation for our testing environment, and it seems MS is more flexible in a way: you can easily copy a Virtual Machine from one computer to an other even if they have different hardware. With VMWare workstation, i had strange problems.

I didn't have any of those problems using VMWare Server, but the web interface of MS VServer was really more usefull for our build machines, test environments and portability too.

BUT, MS doesn't support x64 Guest Environment... so even though we have mostly a MS environment (using VirtualServer), we had to use a couple of VMWare Server machines to use WinXP x64...

Re:Portability (1)

schmu_20mol (806069) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233969)

...you can easily copy a Virtual Machine from one computer to an other even if they have different hardware. With VMWare workstation, i had strange problems.


Hm, must be a really obscure setup. Never encountered that one. So, to give the other view. There are people out there that use this idea successfully with VMWare workstation.

Re:Portability (1)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234239)

I'd wonder what your workstation configuration was, as VM portability is the main focus of VMware. A VM should always be portable between different physical hardware, that's the whole point, they are so stubborn about protability that they won't incorporate certain changes because it requires OS modifications. Everything except for the CPU is virtualized using the same across the board, motherboard type, ethernet card, etc. I regularly take win & linux VM's running on our HP DL585 opteron ESX server, copy them to my Sun Opteron Linux box and to my Intel Windows laptop running vmware server with no problem, in the past I did the same with workstation (with different hardware win intel laptops to linux intel workstation). I've never heard of the problem that you are having, with the exception of people using different versions of vmware (create vm on newer version of vmware, and run it on older version without reinstalling vmware tools), and using raw SATA disk paritions instead of vmdk disk files.

VMware wins hands down... (1)

rmallico (831443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16232957)

The fact that VMware Server, Workstation and ESX all can run 64bit guests on top of a 32bit OS/host (when the appropriate 64bit extensions (AMD64, Intel VT) is all that I needed to hear.. :)

Oh yeah? (3, Insightful)

duffer_01 (184844) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233153)

Whoever came up with this has never tried to install DB2 in VMWare. Good luck with that.

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

Dretep (903366) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234099)

My department actually has, on an Linux guest running on ESX.

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

nolife (233813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234285)

Maybe this does not apply to you but...

Virtualization is not the answer to everything and no company selling virtualization solutions ever stated it was. An individual assessment need to be made based on server loads, types of load (CPU and disk IO), timing of loads, specialized hardware requirements like dongles or fax boards and similar that do not support virtualization. VMWare has an elaborate set of planning guides and tools for sizing, planning, and moving over from a physical to virtual environment. They also have very detailed guidelines on what should and should not be virtualized.

http://www.vmware.com/news/releases/vac_services.h tml [vmware.com]
http://h71019.www7.hp.com/ActiveAnswers/downloads/ VMware_Infrastructure_3_planning.pdf [hp.com]

That links above are just examples. The planning tools are mature enough that if you tried to virtualize something and it failed, you probably missed or underestimated your actual requirements in the initial planning and assessment stages of the process.

VMWare Workstation rocks (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16233459)

I used VMWare Workstation when it was just "VMWare" and it was sluggish. However, since upgrading to 5.5 it runs great and every VM I've tried to install on it was a snap. I'm using the Linux host version-- running it on a FC5 system and am able to run Windows-only apps, such as SQL Server, in a guest OS.

I also took a look at Parallels VM and it looked like a cheaper knockoff of VMWare Workstation. For the price it seemed fine but they didn't (and still don't-- I believe) support 64-bit host operating systems. VMWare Workstation supports 64-bit perfectly. I run a Windows guest all of the time on my linux system that I only reboot when I upgrade a kernel. I've never had any crashes as a result of running VMWare.

VI3 is wonderful. Just don't get the .0 revision (3, Informative)

csoto (220540) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233631)

Honestly, we're quite happy with VI3, but we need 3.0.1, due in October [vmware.com] . There are a few honestly quite stupid bugs in 3.0 that need to be attended to. The most aggravating part is the license server (based on flexlm, which is usually not so bad). Licensing is the one thing where VMware is going backwards on (although the COST of licensing is quite good now).

IBM VM (5, Informative)

dayyan (1007043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233769)

IBM's Virtual Machine (VM) is decades ahead of VMWare. It was first available in 1966. It's reliability, scalability, features, and more; have been enhanced since its beginnings, it is trusted by the most data and reliability sensitive companies and corporations in the world. It isn't just a hypervisor like VMWare or Microsoft's Virtual Suite--it's a full fledged operating system.

It bothers me to watch those whom praise this or that without knowing more about it. Yes, VMWare is good, especially for the PC. However, don't lose sight of superior advancements we've already made in the name of hype and evangelism.

Apples and Oranges (2, Informative)

jmn2519 (954154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16233771)

This isn't really a fair comparison. VMWare ESX Server runs on bare metal - it is the base OS. Virtual Server has to run on top of an existing operating system like XP or Win2003 Server. The problem with the MS approach is that you're constantly having to drop the host operating system to load patches or reboot (just like every other windows machine on the planet).

So yeah, if you want an enterprise class virtualization solution you SHOULD be running VMWare. Things should be interesting in a year or two when M$ releases their bare metal virtualization engine. I believe the code name at the moment is viridian.

Gaming in VMware (1)

opieum (979858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234119)

In case anyone is not aware, you can play some games (very experimental feature) in VMware 5.5 VMs. It supports DX8.1 games. There is even WIP list on the vmware forums to post working games as well. (if you are really intrested google it. not too hard to find) So even still this is a leg up on Parallels and MS/XEN (MS and XEN are partnered up in case you havent read up on that). With limited success you can run an Aqumark3 benchmark with moderate performance. MS and the others in the virtualization space do not have 3d as far along as VMware does at this point. The fact that they are also actively working on a version for the Mac should also say something for the Mac fans out there about 3d support. VMware tools and the SVGA driver is what eneables the 3d ability as well as code in the VMware. A beta for the Mac is due out soon if you go on the VMware page and sign up. Hopefully once the next version of workstation is out there will be DX9 support meaning alot more games can run on it. Performance aside the fact it can run games is a nice feature.

Let's see what Longhorn virtualization has to offe (2, Insightful)

EbbTide (966055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16234467)

We currently have multiple ESX 2.5 machines for our production VMs, and are testing ESX 3.0 on our development box. We also have a couple of Virtual Server 2005 R2 boxes. Right now I can tell you that in an enterprise environment, ESX wins against VS 2005 hands down. Virtual Server 2005 is NOT an enterprise level virtualization environment. However, there are some major changes coming with Longhorn's virtualization, which isn't so far in the future now. A lot of goodies are on the way, and a lot of it is baked right into the OS. Microsoft is making a MAJOR push into virtualization. Don't count them out, especially if you're a Microsoft shop. If your just getting into virtualization, my recommendation is to set up a box for each of the freebies and try them out. If nothing else, knowing both will look good on your resume.
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