best VM software?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by dissonance, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    So I'm somewhat new to using VMs. I know minimal detail about the different ones, more just about VMs in general. I have only been using one myself for about 6 months (MS VirtualPC).

    Anyway, with Peyomp's thread on a server and sffitzge's thread on ubuntu, I was wondering what you guys think is the best VM software for a desktop and method of deployment (ie: Ubuntu plate with VMPlayer on top, Vista plate with MS VirtualPC on top, etc)?



    BTW: My only real complaint about MS VirtualPC is how slow it acts sometimes. If I save state instead of shutting down my Windows XP VM, the next time I run it its really sluggish. Shutting it down and starting up fresh each time works like a charm but takes longer to start.
    (I have an E6750 CPU with 3.3GB RAM. I dedicate 1GB of RAM to the XP VM, which is a pretty clean install, not much on it)
     
  2. Hate Crime

    Hate Crime Don't Hate OT Supporter

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  3. EkriirkE

    EkriirkE Zika Xenu OT Supporter

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    vmware
     
  4. maxxpower

    maxxpower OG Lauren Crew - Observer OT Supporter

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    vmware or virtualbox are both great
     
  5. ajdrosdick

    ajdrosdick New Member

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    I teach at a technical college. All I use is Vmware Server.
     
  6. trouphaz

    trouphaz New Member

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    vmware, but not the free vmware player. you want the vmware workstation or something like that.
     
  7. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    Arg, its $189 for the VMware Workstation. I would prefer something free or cheap....

    (that doesn't rule it out though)

    Is the player that restricted, I don't need it to be very elaborate. I really only run Windows XP as a VM and only to use old programs not supported on Vista (mainly Cool Edit Pro v2, Fireworks 4.0, Age of Empires II, and occasionally I burn DVDs in XP as I have better luck not making coasters than when using Vista).


    You guys think it would be worth it to run Ubuntu as my primary OS and VM Vista and XP on top of that so when I'm just using XP I don't have the Vista overhead?
     
  8. trouphaz

    trouphaz New Member

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    maybe just dual boot? vmware player just starts a pre-built image, but the workstation gives additional stuff like the ability to build your own image from scratch or pull it off of an existing install.
     
  9. retorq

    retorq What up bitch??

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    Isn't server 1.0 free now?? We're running a 2.0 server at work and a couple 1.0 servers and have a handful of workstation licenses too.
     
  10. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    Server 1.x and 2.0 are free.
     
  11. awns729

    awns729 New Member

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    as a comp eng student, i use vmware and love it.
     
  12. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I use VMware Server at work on three servers and a couple of dual-proc workstations. I considered using VirtualBox for about a day, but VirtualBox doesn't do 64-bit yet -- VMware Server runs on 32 or 64-bit hardware, and it supports 32-bit or 64-bit clients. I almost care about it not being open-source, but it's free so it doesn't matter enough for me to really care about it.

    VMware Server can be used in place of the free VMware Player, and it's a lot more flexible, but you have to spend 30 seconds to familiarize yourself with how to set your VMs to not boot up automatically, and how to display them full-screen. Not exactly bending over backwards.
     
  13. JayC71

    JayC71 Guest

    .

    VMware > *.vmsoftware
     
  14. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    I'd go for VMWare, unless you happen to be in a position to get Hyper-V. It's actually a really nice platform.. I have a few servers in production running it.
     
  15. EvanD

    EvanD Active Member

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    Using 1.x or 2.x?
     
  16. JayC71

    JayC71 Guest

  17. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    1.0.8. I haven't switched to 2.0 yet, because it looks to have a totally different UI and I don't want to put myself in a position where I need to do something fast but I don't know how.
     
  18. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    It also doesn't work properly with anything besides Microsoft OSes, because Virtual Machine Additions (MS' equivalent of VMware Tools) is only available for Windows.

    Even if it did work well with other OSes, I'm still not sure I'd want to hand everything over to Microsoft -- though I'm sure they'll eventually come up with a legal way to make all other hypervisors run like shit compared to Hyper-V, at which point I won't have any other option. Except to run VMware on Solaris, of course.
     
  19. EvanD

    EvanD Active Member

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    It's looking like I'll have to install server...I put together a home dev box planning on running ESXi but even though my hardware is supposedly supported as per the whitebox ESXi site, I'm running into issues.

    Was really hoping I could maximize my hardware (Q6600, 8GB RAM) and run as many VM's as possible while not having a host OS to take up resources.
     
  20. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    ESXi is its own OS, huh? That's kinda cool.

    Honestly, a basic install of WS2003 with VMware Server isn't going to use many resources -- and by running a host OS, you can do things like schedule host-machine disk checks and defrags to keep things tidy. That's how my servers are set up; once a week early on Sunday morning, the VMs all defrag and chkdsk themselves, and then early on Monday morning, the host machine does the same.

    EDIT: Oh, a couple bits of advice:

    1. Split all disk files into 2GB chunks and don't pre-allocate disk space. (no need to, unless you know you have more disk space than your VMs will ever use.)

    2. VMware Server has multiple "Options" windows, and they're found in different menus. In one of them (I don't remember which), there is a setting to tell VMware to keep all VMs' allocated memory in RAM, instead of swapping it to disk. This is the best option, unless you plan on running more VMs than you have RAM for.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  21. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    True, but that's just a core installation, not an OS that you can use as a workstation besides. I run Server '08 on my workstation and have several VMs I can use under Hyper-V for testing purposes (Vista, XP, Server '03, SuSE Linux).

    @duesexaethera -- While Hyper-V IS limited in terms of its support outside of MS OSes, other products DO have the ability to run fine. I just wouldn't put a box into production with non-MS setups on Hyper-V right now. Being that I work with mostly the Microsoft side of our infrastructure, it works great for my purposes in production. I've got an RODC, WSUS server, and corporate AV server all running on one physical node in three separate VMs and it runs great. If I ever have to upgrade the hardware or anything like that, there's nothing to migrating them, just shut down the VM, move the VHD to a new box, and boot back up from it. Just that simple.
     
  22. Hate Crime

    Hate Crime Don't Hate OT Supporter

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  23. JayC71

    JayC71 Guest

    ESX and ESXi both run directly on hardware, though ESX has a Console OS based on RH Linux in order to manage things without using the VI Client or installing other applications/agents. A guest OS running VS or VMware Server may not use too many more applications, but in a production environment it adds another OS you have to manage and patch, and any time that OS needs to be rebooted, all your VMs go down with it. ESX and ESXi, with proper licensing of course, allow you to move VMs between hosts with maybe a second or two of downtime at most.
     
  24. JayC71

    JayC71 Guest

    I haven't really considered running Hyper-V as a desktop VM app, I've only been comparing it to ESX in terms or datacenter virtualization. Are there different licensing terms for using it on a non-Server Core installation?
     
  25. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    Not really; as far as using it in production I just run it on '08 Enterprise so I can have 4 VMs of 08 Enterprise running concurrently per hardware node for the cost of one license (we have SPLA where I work, as we're a web host). Dual Clovertown box with 16GB of RAM and a 750GB SATA RAID-10 can handle quite a bit of load for what I'm doing.

    On the desktop/workstation, all of my OSes are MSDN licensed and I usually don't run more than one VM at a time, so I really don't much care about the licensing requirements. I just like the way the hypervisor handles hardware integration much better than the way VMWare Server does it.

    Granted I'm usually only using it to test new GPOs, scripts, and update packages before I deploy them but the platform is nice to do it with.
     

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