In last week’s article, we discussed virtualization and its role in reducing server sprawl. We included VMware server as one of the products used to virtualize a data center. VMware also sells a workstation with a well-established reputation. This week we take a look at VMware Workstation 5.0.
VMware Workstation 5 Review
Submitted by anonymous 2005-06-29 Office 18 Comments
In the first link there is a note on how intel servers are used for single purposes and can have utilisation as low as 10-15%. This it is deemed “frightening” and something that needs correcting to protect ROI.
I don’t understand this – an intel server is extremely cheap compared to the big iron of old, and running emulated operating systems on one set of hardware seems silly when most server software can run on the same OS without a virtual machine. No matter how good the virtualisation, it is an overhead. When the cpu fan on one machine hosting 3 server instances dies, you are in deeper trouble than if you have 3 servers. Can someone please explain the reasoning behind using virtualised servers?
In some ways I agree with you, but for a good, reliable server such as a Dell (or an HP the cost is much greater, especially for smaller businesses.
You could run multiple servers on the one machine, but there is the problem of how that effects reliability, especially on Windows. To keep all these in their own memory space and own virtual environment is much more reliable.
Mostly its for old legacy apps that need to be kept around. Some old systems require a complete sever for its app. So if you had a couple of these before long you and about 5 to 6 servers just running one app each. This is common enough at banks. So the easyest way to fix this is to have one PC run all 6 as most of the time the load on these things is quite low. That’s where go Virtualision comes in.
This is a first class application and I would highly recommend it anyone. I only wish that their prices were lower.
we are running 17 virtual servers on one single blade (out of the 10 blades and 30 other servers we hav) because there is a single must hav piece of software that requires its own server per building. (we also hav centralized servers and a fiber backbone.) and are about to go to 2 blades running vmware server to split the load and allow for growth. i hav vm ware workstation 5 on my office machine and while we are a windows 2000 only district, its fun to play with other systems and set them up on the network, withought needing another machine. you would be suprised at the amount of newer apps that require there own server if you want to use it across multiple sites.
When Tom talks about virtualization, he seems to forget that IBM (AIX, zOS), HP (HP-UX) and Sun (Solaris) can be virtualized through LPARs, vPars, and Zones, and if you have the right hardware, can be done at the hardware level as well. Linux does not have a “lock” on the virtualization market.
His argument about seelcting hardware based on “peak usage” is also flawed becuase he does not accomodate growth over the time the server is in use. Databases get bigger, file systems get full, more applications are installed, and more is expected from the servers. I have machines that have CPU utilization of 1%, but these are dedicated machines (DNS) and they are placed on the cheapest hardware we have. Our database servers have lots of memory and CPU because we expect growth.
The Government is no different than the majority of businesses, most buy too much software and too little hardware, especially in Government. And just how does Linux in that regard differ from any other OS? A Linux machine can be bogged down just as easily as a Solaris machine if it is not purchased based on demonstrated need. This is where long term performance data comes into play, but most places don’t collect that either.
I think this series of articles is more of a sales pitch for Linux than it is a serious attempt to discuss virtualization technologies.
heh so true. most of our servers are at atleast 50%. some touching 90%. the software people all think that ‘its should run at 100% just fine’ we hav DNS servers with mission critical databases on them… i just think of it as job security. we wont even touch on the ‘M$ is our savior, open source can never be secure’ mentality of software support here.
Don’t you just love developers and application administrators! The last place I worked at the SAP and Oracle people came up with this “plan” to divide the resources of our RS/6000 machines to “50% SAP and 50% Oracle”. They never thought the OS needed anything in the way of resources and then had the audacity to complain when the performance sucked!
yeah that sounds about right. or when they complain because you tell them its not a good idea to fill up the servers hard drive to 100%. or you try to explain to them that they need to defragment even though windows says its not nesesary. our poor dual cpu blade isnt reccomended to hav over 8 servers in vmware but they wanted to see how it would do with all 17 on it. our head software support believes in thouroughly testing software before going district wide, so much so that if it was up to here we would still be running windows NT4. the network admin deplows patches without doing any testing whatsoever. try explaining to sumone that the server doesnt need a PCMCIA patch installed becuz it doesnt hav PCMCIA slots.
Here’s one you will like! One of our developers came up and asked me to help him with this new machine they needed to build for a LMS and translation software. Powering up the machine (a Dell 2650) it had one CPU, 512 MB of RAM, and one hard disk! This machine was obviously bought based on price, never mind what the intended use was. So I said we need four more disks, the second processor, another 2 GB of RAM, and while we are at it get the 128 MB RAID module. All of the above is on order.
I just don’t get where these people think they know more about administration and performance than the people actually responsible for administration and performance. But they sure know who we are when there is a “problem”!
hah thas good. yes when it comes to ordering something im rarely asked anything. when it gets here im told ‘make it work’ which usually requires placing another order for stuff that was left out.
all of our blades were ordered with 4 gigs of ram. but some of the blades dont need more then 2 gigs while some could use 8 gigs. prblem beeing they each hav 4 1 gig sticks. and were purchased with 2 512meg sticks in them. so i hav a box of never too be used 512 meg sticks. and next summer when we have to upgrade some of the blades i will hav a box of 1gig sticks left over, replaced by 4 2gig sticks.
common sense??? i dont need no common sense.
180.00 $US is really cheap for a development tool. It’s the first 180 dollars I’d spend on a new developers workstation. Consider that most developers don’t need multiple machines all the time and almost never use all the resources of those machines VMWare Workstation is perfect.
You must work for the people with the deep pockets that actully believe in spending money in the right places deaprtment! My first “real” IT job was to support 196 developers using (this is no joke) Windows NT 4.0 with 32 MB of RAM for developing applications using Delphi, Visual C++, and a few other languages. It took a year of fighting to get the machines upgraded (even though most of the memory needed was readily available for FREE) to 128 MB of RAM! End result, vastly increased productivity and trouble tickets dropped off to almost nothing!
Too many people look at the wallet in the short term, instead of the long term.
We have around 24 HP servers running various apps from Peoplesoft (Win 2003 Server/SQL Server). Also we have an IBM iSeries running Mapics.
In the last 10 years we’ve had 30 minutes unscheduled downtime on the iSeries. The HP Servers? We hit the 30 minute mark after 1 month!!!!!
I’m in charge of the iSeries and i sleep very well at night. The 4 guys looking after Peoplesoft don’t do so well.
Take your pick.
Actually it’s because the people for whom I manage/design/develop are cheap that I can specify VMWare. It’s cheaper than any second machine.
Nothing has much improved in the workstation arena from my exp. Sound in Linux and Windows XP (both guest) does not work. It just lags and is really bad.
I understand that workstation is not for sound/movies stuff but then don’t claim it too unless you are absolutely sure that it works as you say it does.
I have been using VMWare in a development environment since 4.0 and I am very disappointed with this new version. Performance is really bad, worse than in 4.5.2 (and even worse if you run Linux in a VMWare-box).
I installed VMWare 5.0, created some 5.0 native virtual machines and had to uninstall 5.0 and return to 4.5.2
i hav debian in a VMWare box on 5.0. sound works fine, video isnt noticeably laggy unless u get to playing huge resolutions or sumthing. the mouse doesnt stutter at all as you go across the screen. i think its great. and thats withought the vmware tools stuff installed.