Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 6th Feb 2006 13:14 UTC, submitted by Jay
OSNews, Generic OSes As expected, VMware enlarges its free (as in beer) software offers, introducing the free VMware Server (in beta) for Linux and Windows. Containing a bunch of features (server solution comparison), this seems like a serious step forward to enlarge the acceptance of virtualization in soho use, without the software license costs. You can download datasheets [.pdf], or download the program [reg. req.].
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Revenue?
by taschenorakel on Mon 6th Feb 2006 13:46 UTC
taschenorakel
Member since:
2005-07-06

Really wonder how VMware wants to gain any revenue after this step. Do they sell that much Workstation licenses for Windows, that they can finance VMware Server and Player out of this revenues? Or is the VMware software of it's own that benifential for the business of VMware's owner EMC˛, that they do not have to make any revenue from selling the software?

I really wonder, and I care as I consider VMware being damn good software and as I don't want to miss it in the future...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Revenue?
by jayc on Mon 6th Feb 2006 13:58 UTC in reply to "Revenue?"
jayc Member since:
2005-07-06

>> Really wonder how VMware wants to gain any revenue after this step.

It's rather obvious that they want to use this as a way to get people interested and 'hooked' to sell ESX server later on.

With technologies like Xen starting to become more popular and virtualization becoming a commodity that VMWare once had a hold on, they have to find a way to offer something better that what the other guys are offering.

I'd say they're pretty smart to have started modifying their business strategy before the going got tough.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Revenue?
by rmigfr on Mon 6th Feb 2006 21:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Revenue?"
rmigfr Member since:
2006-02-06

In France, the majority of virtualization business is made about this three axes:

1. Consolidate Windows server
2. Run old NT4 server on newer hardware which can't run it natively
3. Make cheapest disater recovery plans

So the biggest competion is not Xen, but Microsoft Virtual Server. I personally think that GSX was far superior (I am not even talking about ESX), but for a lot of big customer with Microsoft partnership, Virtual Server was more or less free.

And with the inclusion of VS in the next Windows Server release, GSX was really in danger.

Give it for free and try to sell ESX is perhaps finally not a bad idea.

Reply Score: 1

only beta for free?
by b-glawe on Mon 6th Feb 2006 13:48 UTC
b-glawe
Member since:
2006-02-06

Hello,

does anybody know, whether only the betaverstion is for free or whether vmware will also provide any future releases of the vmware server product for free?

greets Boris

Reply Score: 1

RE: only beta for free?
by bakanekov3 on Mon 6th Feb 2006 14:32 UTC in reply to "only beta for free?"
bakanekov3 Member since:
2005-07-06

From the press release, it looks like the whole thing will be free, not just the beta.

Reply Score: 3

One thing I noticed
by wylde342 on Mon 6th Feb 2006 14:49 UTC
wylde342
Member since:
2005-08-12

The full version runs on bare metal. You'd save all the resources the of a host operating system. Personally, if I were investing in a data center type environment, I'd go that route.

Reply Score: 2

RE: One thing I noticed
by Vanders on Mon 6th Feb 2006 15:47 UTC in reply to "One thing I noticed"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

If Linux counts as "bare metal" then yes, it does. However you also get things like vmfs if you use ESX server and dual-CPUs (As in, dual virtual CPUs) with the right licenses. So yeah, you'd want ESX in a data center, but not because it saves you the trouble of installing a Linux distribution.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: One thing I noticed
by rmigfr on Mon 6th Feb 2006 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE: One thing I noticed"
rmigfr Member since:
2006-02-06

The Linux under ESX is not an host OS. It is involved just into the boot sequence and serves for the interface (authentification service, remote console, http server for web management...).

ESX first boot on the Linux, with a restricted hadware view (the kernel just see one NIC, one CPU, a small portion of RAM, and some controller cards, thanks to append parameters passed to the kernel by LILO).

At the end of the Linux boot, the VMkernel is bootstrapped in the upper physical memory (the one that the Linux does not see).

Now the VMkernel is in control, the Linux is controlled under a system virtual machine, with his own time shares.

It is why VMware says that ESX runs on bare metal. All memory operation, disk access for the VMs, network management for the VM (teaming, VLAN etc...), CPU scheduling... are done by the VMkernel, who runs directly on the hardware with his own set of drivers (it is why ESX hardware suppor is really so small compared to GSX).

So the important thing is: ESX is not GSX/VMware Server on a Linux Host.

Edited 2006-02-06 17:05

Reply Score: 4

read the FAQ 1st!
by 0xCAFEBABE on Mon 6th Feb 2006 15:02 UTC
0xCAFEBABE
Member since:
2006-02-06

Q: Will patches and new releases for VMware Server be provided for free in the future?

A: Generally available VMware Server patches, minor and major releases will be provided by VMware on a regular basis only to customers that have purchased a VMware Server Support and Subscription contract. At a later time, VMware may, at its discretion, include the functionality improvements contained in these patches, minor and major releases in the freely downloadable product.

Reply Score: 1

Xen
by polaris20 on Mon 6th Feb 2006 15:41 UTC
polaris20
Member since:
2005-07-06

Xen doesn't support Windows guest systems, right? If so, I don't see it as being anywhere near as useful as VMWare is.

Hopefully they'll change that someday.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Xen
by Larz on Mon 6th Feb 2006 16:05 UTC in reply to "Xen"
Larz Member since:
2006-01-04

It should change before long. Xen either has to rely on the OS being modified (which is a no-go when we are talking Windows), or on a hardware embedded hypervisor layer.

The hardware hypervisor will be found in processers with Intels VT layer, or AMDs Pacifica layer. They should be just around the corner (I think Intel has already released serverprocessers with the VT layer).

Personally, I am really looking forward to commoditized virtualization.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Xen
by TaterSalad on Mon 6th Feb 2006 16:07 UTC in reply to "Xen"
TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

I would say it doesn't support it yet. Now the Xen team can't legally support and distribute it, but I remember reading a report saying they did get Windows to run as a guest. The proof of concept is there. So if they can do it, I'm sure someone outside the Xen team with enough wits, patience, and cleverness could get it done. Its just a matter of who will take up such a challenge.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Xen
by Haicube on Mon 6th Feb 2006 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Xen"
Haicube Member since:
2005-08-06

Why hazzle?

Seriously mate, maybe it can be tweaked to run Windows as well, but there is a difference in tweaking and making something run, and actually relying on it to run.

For now and for quite some time the VMWare is the obvious solution for any Business you choose, and Xen might be for some homeuser who wanna play with things (a target group I seriously doubt ESX is aimed for).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Xen
by smitty on Mon 6th Feb 2006 16:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Xen"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Windows will run perfectly as soon as the VT/Pacifica technology is included on Intel/AMD chips. Which will be later this year.

So VMWare is clearly the way to go for the present and for as long as you are using older computers (the next 3 years?) After that you'll have to evaluate the usability, features, and performance of each. Currently, I would still choose VMWare, but Xen is making a lot of progress.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Xen
by TaterSalad on Mon 6th Feb 2006 17:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Xen"
TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh I agree. Xen running Windows would be a home user thing for right now. For business I'd go with VMWare just because it actually works right now and for support should I ever need it. But the ability of having Windows available in Xen would be a nicety.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Xen
by HeLfReZ on Mon 6th Feb 2006 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Xen"
HeLfReZ Member since:
2005-08-12

Xen 3.0 DOES support running unmodified domu (ie.Windows) however it requires a VT/Pacifica chip, which ARE available on some early high end server products but are just starting to trickle out...By the 3rd quarter they should be readily available in servers, and I'm not sure how long it will be before the chips start macking it into commodity systems although it was rumors that the Intel chips in the new macs actually have the VT builtin but may not be activated. But to answer the question, yes windows is fully supported as of Xen 3.0 pending you have the proper hardware. There are also rumours that some teams are working on ways to run windows under Xen using win4lin...

Reply Score: 1

Xen and Windows
by kscguru on Mon 6th Feb 2006 19:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Xen"
kscguru Member since:
2006-01-21

The thing you have to realize about Xen is the difference between "support" and "running well". Xen performance figures are always paravirtualized Linux versus anything else. They do not have Windows versus anything else performance figures - not even Windows versus paravirtualized Linux.

Windows is not paravirtualized. And will not be. Windows will run under VT, the "support" Xen mentions. But it will NOT be as fast. My guesstimate is Windows will take a 20% performance hit - even after Xen tweaks drivers and all. (I expect closer to 40% without tweaks). Yes, I am familiar with VT - and VT's limitations.

VT lets Xen run Windows. VT does not let Xen run Windows fast. VMware is still the best way to get Windows performance - and now it's free.

Reply Score: 1

Is it possible to use it
by Temcat on Mon 6th Feb 2006 16:05 UTC
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

on a normal desktop PC work in Linux and Windows concurrently?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Is it possible to use it
by Lamego on Tue 7th Feb 2006 09:11 UTC in reply to "Is it possible to use it"
Lamego Member since:
2006-01-12

Yes, but on a normal PC I guess you want to use the VMWARE Free Player...

Reply Score: 1

can't register to download?
by cwdrake on Mon 6th Feb 2006 17:06 UTC
cwdrake
Member since:
2005-08-09

Is anybody else having this problem? When I visit http://www.vmware.com/download/server/ and click on the "Login or Register" link, it just hangs. I have tried with both Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Reply Score: 1

RE: can't register to download?
by Fred on Mon 6th Feb 2006 17:24 UTC in reply to "can't register to download?"
Fred Member since:
2005-07-06

Seems to be solved now, the website had some problems earlier today.

Too bad this thing still doesn't have a native 64bits version. I still need to install the 32 bits libs to get it to run...and I'm really too lazy to do that ;)

Reply Score: 1

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

nah, can't get it either, keeps giving an internal server error

Reply Score: 1

d0nk3y Member since:
2005-12-15

Yeah - this happens for me too. Maybe they are being swamped?

Reply Score: 1

d0nk3y Member since:
2005-12-15

BTW, Over on the VMTN forums, they say you need to specify a state on the web form (anything) to get around the 'internal server error'.

This worked for me - downloading now.

:-)

Reply Score: 2

Yesss !
by dukeinlondon on Mon 6th Feb 2006 17:50 UTC
dukeinlondon
Member since:
2005-07-06

At last I will be able to reclaim the partition used by XP and install it in a virtual machine instead ! That's great. I would have bought it a long time ago, had it not been so pricey.

I will need XP more and more for educational software for the kids as they grow up. They just don't do much on Mac or Linux.

Apart from that, the only company where I've seen it used was pirating it shamelessly, running dozens of servers with a single workstation license, and that was not exactly a backstreet start-up...

Edited 2006-02-06 17:53

Reply Score: 1

direct links
by simo on Mon 6th Feb 2006 22:59 UTC
simo
Member since:
2006-01-09

you'll have to register to get a serial, but here are the direct download links for those who can't get through - took me 3 hours to get this far!

server is cool, works fine on xp pro, although i didn't have iis installed/turned on so lost the web-based console - you still have the old gui style like workstation.

i'm not convinced it's as fast as workstation, even with the tools installed, maybe it's running in debug mode like the workstation betas do.

it loaded my workstation 5.5.1 images just fine.

http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmserver/VMware-server-e.x.p-2...
http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmserver/VMware-server-e.x.p-2...
http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmserver/VMware-mui-e.x.p-2092...
http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmserver/VMware-server-linux-c...

http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmserver/VMware-server-install...
http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmserver/VMware-server-win32-c...

Reply Score: 1

Expires in July
by WarpKat on Mon 6th Feb 2006 23:51 UTC
WarpKat
Member since:
2006-02-06

According to the Help -> About section, my version of the free GSX Server expires on July 13th. Does anyone know if this is going to be extended?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Expires in July
by kscguru on Tue 7th Feb 2006 19:20 UTC in reply to "Expires in July"
kscguru Member since:
2006-01-21

The beta expires then. By that date, there will either be a more current beta, or a full release.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Expires in July
by WarpKat on Tue 7th Feb 2006 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Expires in July"
WarpKat Member since:
2006-02-06

I hope so...I'd hate to be in the middle of one of my projects and then "BLAM-O!"

heh

Reply Score: 1

waiting
by cybrjackle on Tue 7th Feb 2006 00:32 UTC
cybrjackle
Member since:
2005-11-20

I had a login, got right in and d/l in no time at all, just haven't seen the key.

Reply Score: 1