Hey MSFT Developer, have you tried VMWare yet?

Posted on 5/22/2007 @ 9:12 PM in #SharePoint by | Feedback | 6981 views

Andrew Connell and I were rapping over IM earlier tonight about VMWare vs Virtual Server/PC. As SharePoint-y guys - virtualization is a *must* for us.

Andrew blogged about and is requesting a serious discussion about this, so if you have any opinions on that - please contribute on his blog

Here is my view,

I've tried, Virtual PC 2005/2007, Virtual Server 2005 R2, and VMWare Workstation 6.0 in the near past. IMO, VMWare Workstation 6.0 is hands down better.

You can see that reflected in Todd B's blogpost here. He makes the argument of 1:29 hours saved over a month. It's not about the 1 hour 29 minutes - it's the constant frustration of watching an hourglass. Also, it's not just about performance. VMWare has a much better UI, and much better features. (My thoughts on VMware vs Virtual Server earlier).

Now here is the deal. My argument is that most developers, ESPECIALLY, Microsoft devs, haven't even tried VMWare. Why? Because MSFT's virtualization products are free.

But this IMO isn't a Netscape 4.7 vs IE 4 battle. VMware Workstation, I feel, really is a much better product - albeit not free.

What are your views? Please join the healthy discussion on Andrew's blog - especially - if you've tried both VMWare and Virtual Server/PC.

Sound off but keep it civil:

Older comments..

On 5/22/2007 9:50:57 PM jdn said ..
Uh, can't you use VMWare for free?


On 5/22/2007 10:14:03 PM Sahil Malik said ..

I haven't done a full feature matrix comparison of the free vs. paid versions of VMWare. I am guessing that the free version is ultra-crippled? Does your research say anything different?


On 5/22/2007 11:13:06 PM AC said ..
VMWare Server is not a crippled version... it's not ESX though. It doesn't have all the features Workstation has, but it's quite similar to MSFT's Virtual Server product.

On 5/22/2007 11:38:01 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Thanks Andrew - I haven't tried the free version yet.

On 5/23/2007 10:24:32 PM Luke Walker said ..
VMWare Server is a rebadge of their previous product - GSX Server, which utilises Host-based virtualisation, just like Virtual Server 2005 R2. ESX however installs a cut-down operating system (RedHat-based?) which I believe one of the Server 2008 versions (Core?) is designed to compete against.

It's not crippled, but it also doesn't support their more advanced features such as VMotion.

On 5/24/2007 11:39:08 AM Maarten said ..
ESX is based on a custom Red Hat and is for enterprises, and is priced as such (admittedly it's more than worth it, I love my ESX server, hands down my favorite server I control). I won't go into ESX because 99% of people can't afford it and virtual server will work just as well for anyway.

VMWare Server is a free virtualization environment similar in capability to vmware workstation 5 but with remote management and remote terminal capabilities. They're releasing a new version of it later this year that should be closer to vmware 6 though don't know if it'll have ACE support built into it.

VMWare Workstation imo is the most crippled version of VMWare as it's localhost only. It does have some nice things especially if you pay the extra money and get ACE. ACE is basically a way to package prebuilt virtual machines for deployment to remote machines and can be deployed to almost any device imaginable in almost any way. Including flash drives. Imagine carrying a complete OS with you on a flash drive?

More than that, with the introduction of hardware assisted virtualization from AMD and Intel...it'll be an interesting year in virtualization to say the least.

On 5/24/2007 11:41:02 AM Maarten said ..
oh yeah and vmware workstation 6 somehow can tie into visual studio and allow remote debugging straight into a virtual machine. I can't develop without it anymore. Anything goes wrong, roll back the VM to a save state and back to a clean working slate

On 5/24/2007 2:08:44 PM Sahil Malik said ..
Maarten - thank you for the insightful comments.