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Virtual Machine/Server Software

Discussion in 'Windows & Other Software' started by afraser2k, 2 Feb 2006.

  1. afraser2k

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,516

    Location: Glasgow

    I'm looking into buying a virtual machine package for home use, mainly for development and server purposes (especially LAMP).

    I'm not exactly sure on what products are available other than VMWare or those offered by Microsoft and I'd like to know what people think of these products? My desktop at home runs Windows XP w/SP2 if it makes any difference.
     
  2. Otacon

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Jan 2004

    Posts: 21,923

    Location: All over

    Unless you're familiar with Linux (and some open source virtualisation alternatives), then VMWare or Virtual PC/Server (the Microsoft product) is what you're looking at.

    Will it run on your main workstation, or do you intend to run these machines on a separate server?
     
  3. afraser2k

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,516

    Location: Glasgow

    It will run on my workstation. From the Microsoft Server trial it seemed that I could switch off the servers whenever I wanted to play games so I hope other software is capable.

    I'm not familiar with Linux other than minor administration duties at work but the plan is to get more familiar as time goes on.
     
  4. Shoei

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2003

    Posts: 2,452

    Location: Heysham, Lancs

    We run VMware GSX server and Microsoft's Virtual PC.
    GSX server is running on an HP DL360 with dual Xeon's and 8gb of ram and windows 2003 Enterprise server. Simply cos its running 10 instances of Windows 2000 server and that nearly maxes out the memory!

    Virtual pc is running on an HP DX6xxx pc with 2gb ram and XP pro. This is running about 8 copies of windows 2000, though only 4 are ever in use at one time, unlike the vm box.

    Nice bit on the vm box is "snapshots", you can snapshot a vm machine, do what ever you want to it, then reload the snapshot and the vm machine is back to how it used to be. I use that mainly for when im sequencing installations to run under softricity.

    We may be looking at putting VMworkstation in at some point to complement Virtual PC and take some load of the pc running virtual pc.

    Price wise, Virtual pc is cheap, but it wont run all operating systems. I tried to get Solaris for intel to work on VPC and it failed.

    Personally i would go with VMWare, they know what they are doing and will support all o/s andit does snapshots, which are a godsend.

    Robb
     
  5. Otacon

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Jan 2004

    Posts: 21,923

    Location: All over

    For a single workstation, I would also recommend VMWare. The snapshot system is absolutely fantastic, and you can install their VM support tools onto both Windows and Linux based operating systems - the Microsoft alternative will only install to Windows VMs.

    For me, the biggest selling point of Virtual Server is th ability to access your machines via a web browser, but in a single machine setup it's irrelevant, and even so some people are still swayed by the snapshot system.
     
  6. afraser2k

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,516

    Location: Glasgow

    VMWare is sounding like the product I want now so I'll have a more in-depth look at their site.

    Thanks for the advice. :)
     
  7. afraser2k

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,516

    Location: Glasgow

  8. Otacon

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Jan 2004

    Posts: 21,923

    Location: All over

    That really is fantastic news.
     
  9. Shoei

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2003

    Posts: 2,452

    Location: Heysham, Lancs

    saw this earlier, looks good.
    Be interesting to see what the difference is between Server and GSX server.

    Robb
     
  10. Otacon

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Jan 2004

    Posts: 21,923

    Location: All over

  11. afraser2k

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,516

    Location: Glasgow

    Got it up and running on Windows XP (you need to disable default web site in IIS before VMWare will run due to hosting restrictions in XP). First virtual machine running Scientific Linux 4.2.

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
  12. Shoei

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2003

    Posts: 2,452

    Location: Heysham, Lancs

    Does it do "snapshots". Cant see it mentioned any where on the data sheet.

    Robb
     
  13. afraser2k

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,516

    Location: Glasgow

    It does. If you look at the image I've taken it's in the VMWare product menu.
     
  14. Otacon

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Jan 2004

    Posts: 21,923

    Location: All over

    It's without the 'VM Team' functionality that I use with Workstation, but I can live without it.
     
  15. Shoei

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Dec 2003

    Posts: 2,452

    Location: Heysham, Lancs

    Time to grab a copy me thinks and do a compare against GSX server.

    Robb