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VMware Server 2 shows some improvement

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.131.41.49] on October 31, 2008 12:26 PM
I agree with your review, however, in my testing with a Vista-64 host I found that unsigned drivers prevented installation of VMware Server. Googling located instructions to get around that, but a quick attempt failed and we moved on to ESXi.

ESXi, while being bare metal is highly specific concerning which hardware it will support. Basically if you aren't running server hardware from HP or Dell or IBM, you are probably wasting your time. My **very** standard P45 motherboard SATA controller was not supported. There was no chance my laptop would be seen either. How useful is that for a test system?

VirtualBox installed for me without requiring a reboot on my laptop with a Vista-64 host. I've been running for a few months with Ubuntu, WinXP and Puppy clients. The WinXP client is fast enough that I don't notice it isn't running directly on the hardware. Even lite video editing works in that VM. There was a major problem with 2.0.2 and a huge Microsoft memory leak that required a hotfix from MS (not a normal patch). That was bad, but I understand the current version 2.0.4 uses a different refresh method and removes that dependency on the leaky Win64 refresh API. I'm still happy using Vbox.

On real servers we run Xen 3.0.3 and Ubuntu server LTS. We've had some network issues where it seems to simply stop running on the host, but all the clients continue to work. There's a line commented out on the clients in the /etc/networking/interface file that enabling made a huge positive difference.

VirtualBox is easier to use than VMware for most people and very fast. Commercial support and add-on products are greater for VMware and I'd have to take a very strong look at that for any data center application where Xen doesn't fit and where downtime costs are non-trivial and real.

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