What is VMware? VMware is virtual machine software It runs multiple operating systems on a single computer It’s an excellent testing and development platform It’s an enterprise-class server as well It’s a paradigm shift
Flavors of VMware VMware Workstation GSX Server ESX Server
VMware Workstation Current version is 5.5 Evaluation license key is valid for 30 days This is a full working version VMware has extended this for additional evaluation time if necessary Runs on Windows or Linux Retails for ~$189 Upgrades after a year are ~$95 a workstation
GSX Server Able to run multiple servers or workstations on a single box Meant for a small size server environments and larger-scale test environments Scales to allow a test Active Directory domain, client/server environment, etc. Can run on Windows or Linux Retails for ~$1400 for a dual processor system But you can do better than that!
ESX Server Enterprise-class virtual server This is meant more for a live environment ESX Server is built directly into a custom Linux kernel to optimize performance, stability, and modularization Pricing: call them. We just purchased this for a 2 processor system with a bundled package for ~$3500.
Why VMware Workstation is good Saves the average administrator and developer hundreds of hours a year by allowing rapid, modular and convenient tests You can run Windows on Linux and Linux on Windows You can do presentations involving OS-based demonstrations on the same piece of hardware as the presentation using multiple VMware systems It’s VERY cheap
Why GSX Server is good It’s less expensive than ESX Server It allows for multi-processor environments and rapid tests of multiple systems You can run a few servers or workstations on a single system If you’re not comfortable with Linux, you can use a Windows Server as the host OS
Why ESX Server is good Create new systems faster with reduced hardware needs allowing for tailored and scalable memory and processor utilization Decouple application workloads from underlying physical hardware for increased flexibility- read this is to separate your server applications and services onto individual servers (DNS, DHCP, SMS, IIS, AD, FTP, Brightmail, Sendmail, whatever). Dramatically lower the cost of business continuity- if your virtual system dies, crank of a new box and run a restore in just a few minutes
Things you can do to impress your friends You can build a base test image, take a snapshot, run multiple tests on it, destroy it, and then just revert back like nothing happened You can clone it for future work or pass it on to someone You can set up small server-client/server test environments I have an parallel Active Directory domain complete with an Exchange Server, SQL Server, IIS box, etc. You can join your own domain and test concepts from permissions to group policy You can pause in the middle of working on a project and come back to it later
Things you can do to impress yourself Run Symantec ghost into or out of your VMware system- Dell GX1’s and Pentium III systems work, others may not. In other words- put your current system into VMware easily. You can use the import tool for this as well. Test out multi-homing systems by adding additional virtual NIC’s Really learn how to script/MSI package by doing some really potentially destructive ones without hurting your live systems Virtual Teams- set up a template system, distribute tests without damaging the original
Things you can do to impress your boss Leverage VMware to drastically improve your speed of testing, server, and workstation deployment Do live demonstrations of concepts using VMware systems to drive a good point home Reduce your wasted time by pre- configuring images that are in various stages of deployment
Things you can do to impress your users More thoroughly test upgrades, rollouts, and deployments to perfect the concept before going live. This means way less downtime for users and of course- a more polished look Learn how to script if you’ve got more than just a few computers. This is a great platform to teach yourself on! Learn how to MSI package software with custom builds and try deploying these onto test systems using Group Policy- computer goes on, and so does the new software- without fumbling!
Recommendations Minimum of a 1 GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 80GB drive What I recommend for testing: 3GHz+ processor, 1GB+ RAM, 15k RPM SCSI purely for live VMware systems, 80GB drive for image storage
Useful links http://www.vmware.com Don’t want vmware? Try Virtual Server 2005 R2 by Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtu Or Virtual PC 2004: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/default.m Buy from http://www.programmersparadise.com