Thursday, July 17, 2008

Opinion: VMWare Server 2.0 Beta [Updated]

I've used VMWare Server 2.0 Beta for about three solid hours now...

Things I like.
  • Virtual Hardware v. 7 with USB 2.0 support.
  • Tomcat based VM monitoring, is pretty responsive.
  • Does NOT request or attempt to "require" IIS.
  • The Server interface, while different, remains similar.
Technical -- I've loaded VMWare-Server beta on two separate Windows XP host systems (I have an Ubuntu as well, but I've had problems in the past loading both "player" and "server" under Linux (as in - they try to delete each-other's drivers)... So, I'm not likely to try that.

What I do not like:

There is not a way to launch a Virtual Machine without using an Apache-Tomcat servlet through a web browser. This seems terribly inefficient when I am simply trying to load a local VM on a local machine. Inside the web based VMWare management tool, there is a button to create a link to this virtual machine on your desktop. This shortcut, once created, will attach to (and, if necessary, start) the virtual machine without needing to start a web browser. This is still slower to load than the old VMWare server interface was.

The "fat client" , player style interface that used to be available for VMWare Server 1.x has been replaced with a browser plug-in loaded console screen that is very painfully slow to load, it feels like bad java back in the day...

If launching a virtual machine console viewer from inside the browser interface, it takes a painfully long time to load and launch. The operating system will be having no problem starting up as I'm waiting for this thing to finally display. By the time the console opens for me, the login prompt is already waiting ... EVEN with a Windows XP guest OS. This is much better when launching from the desktop link.

Where I gave VMWare-server 1 (****) four out of five stars, I give the VMWare-server 2 (beta) (***^) three and a half out of five.

To be fair, I have little doubt that this console will be improved before the final version releases. I just wanted to let my early opinion be known.

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