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Enterprise level virtualization now free of charge says VMware

VMware today announced that its venerable virtualization platform, VMware Server, is now available free of charge. VMware is making the virtualization platform free after five vigorous months of beta testing. The company says that its technology is tried and true, and used by many of today's top companies. According to the press release:

Users can easily progress from VMware Server to VMware Infrastructure 3, the third generation of the industry-leading infrastructure virtualization software suite that allows entire industry-standard infrastructure farms to be managed as a shared utility and dynamically allocated to different business units or projects. The suite is designed to deliver comprehensive virtualization, management, resource optimization, application availability and operational automation capabilities in an integrated offering.

Interestingly, Microsoft also made its own Virtual PC 2004 application available for free this week as well. While Virtual PC 2004 and VMware Server are definitely two very different applications, it's clear that competition is there and the end user benefits. Users who wish to try out virtualization will find that VMware Server will offer more advanced features than is available in Virtual PC 2004.

As an enterprise level virtualization platform, VMware Server has some of the following features:
  • Experimental SMP, allowing a virtual machine to use multiple processors
  • Support for Intel's VT Technology
  • Support for 64-bit guest operating systems
  • Ability to capture entire state of a virtual machine and roll back at any time with single click operation
VMware Server is available immediately at no charge. VMware did not say how long it plans on making VMware Server available for free.  Beta releases of VMware Server were announced back in February of this year, but the more recent press release claims the final version is free.


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RE: This story needs to clarify.
By Pabby on 7/13/2006 10:01:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I read this months ago aswell. Sadly this free version only runs on Server 2K3 (maybe 2000 server aswell but I dunno) and Linux.

Couple of points

(1)MS Virtual PC is awful. Its runs Windows XP poorly, it runs Linux poorly, it runs Solaris poorly and its basically not that good.

We used it in a Lab for a class project, we had decent enough machines running XP SP2, 1GB of RAM and like 2.4GHz P4's (a bit old but shouldn't be any problems). All the systems we ran on it ran like crap with surprisingly FreeBSD running the best on it. Performance was slow and doing anything took a lifetime. 2K3 server even refused to boot and hung at the Windows splash screen.

In contrast VMware (which i run at home on a A64 3200+ and 1GB of RAM) is an excellent product, you would never be able to tell the OS was being virtualised by looking at the performance. Its runs everything very well including Windows XP. I even ran my own mail and web server on it and it worked over the net.

(2) Which education system are you referring too? This is an Internationally recognised Internet site for tech/computer enthusiasts and professionals. Perhaps you missed your Geography lesson?


RE: This story needs to clarify.
By daveyd on 7/13/2006 12:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
Virtual PC runs like crap? Hmmm...My host PC is 3.0Ghz with 1.5GB of RAM running XP. I run 2 instances of 2003 Server and 1 instance of XP on top of my host machine and it runs flawlessly.


RE: This story needs to clarify.
By Nekrik on 7/13/2006 2:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
I've run Virtual PC and Virtual Server both for sometime, and while it has its bottlenecks so does VMWare, most things can be optimized to work very well, and performance with the latest releases has not been an issue at all.

I'm a little curious about another posters comments.

"I also like the ability to create virtual networks, I find this extremely useful. (Its completely missing in Virtual PC, Parallels Workstation, etc)."

Shared Networking might be the default for Virtual PC, but Virtual Switch is avaialable to accomplish a virtual network, and up to four NICs can be assigned (actually a single 4 port card). Create a loopback adapter on the host and assign it to one of these for guest/host communication.

Also, I think someone mentioned a 512MB limit for Linux, was this a trial version or something? You create the machine config prior to installing the OS, and have the freedom to set it to what you want provided it's avaialable on the host (to the limit, which I don't recall, but 2 or 4 GBs I think).


RE: This story needs to clarify.
By stmok on 7/13/2006 2:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sadly this free version only runs on Server 2K3 (maybe 2000 server as well but I dunno) and Linux.


I find this odd. I had been using Win2k/XP Pro for both the Beta and Release Candidate versions without issue. WTF is with the Windows Server requirement in ver 1.0?

quote:
Which education system are you referring too? This is an Internationally recognised Internet site for tech/computer enthusiasts and professionals. Perhaps you missed your Geography lesson?


Professionals? Really? Most of the feedback I have seen in recent months have been hardly professional. Some news bit comes along that mentions keywords: "Sony", "PS3", etc, and some smartarse 15yr old loser puts his pointless 2 cent opinion into it.

I'm talking about all the Educational facilities around the world that have produced nothing but lazy SOBs who no longer read headlines or fineprint. There is some lost art or skill that has been evolving, where people, for some reason, don't know how to look up information.



But I do agree. If you're just doing purely Windows OSs and DOS, then go with Virtual PC/Server. Otherwise (Linux, BSD, etc), VMware is the way to go.

I usually run Linux as host OS, and have Windows as guest OSs. I also like the ability to create virtual networks, I find this extremely useful. (Its completely missing in Virtual PC, Parallels Workstation, etc).


RE: This story needs to clarify.
By stmok on 7/13/2006 2:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sadly this free version only runs on Server 2K3 (maybe 2000 server aswell but I dunno) and Linux.


Incorrect.

Windows Server is only needed for IIS if you are planning to use VMware Management Interface. If not, you can use Win2k/XP Home/Pro versions and still use VMware Server (free) with the "VMware Server Console". (Use it like VMware Workstation).


RE: This story needs to clarify.
By Pabby on 7/13/2006 4:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
Ah right I thought I'd read was a requirement. I normally use vmware workstation but not server.


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