Virtualization

Review: VMWare Server

VMWare Server is for any IT department needing to cut cost on server hardware and/or create a reliable sandbox testing environment that can mimic a live environment. VMWare Server also enables you to speed up deploy time by building a virtual machine once and deploying it many times.

Virtualization is on every IT administrators' mind these days. And if you haven't looked into it, you should. The benefits of virtualization are many: cost savings, ease of development and testing, training, and many more. VMWare is the leader in virtualization; their solutions work well, are well supported, and are proven. VMWare Server is an outstanding product that allows you to virtualize your server installations with ease.

Supported guest operating systems

  • Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, NT, Me, 98, 95, MS-DOS 6.22 or better
  • IBM OS/2 Warp
  • Mac OS X Server
  • Linux
  • Sun Java Desktop
  • SCO OpenServer
  • SCO UNIXWARE
  • FreeBSD
  • Netware Server
  • Solaris 10 x86
  • Additional information on VMWare Server

Who's it for?

VMWare Server is for any IT department needing to cut cost on server hardware and/or create a reliable sandbox testing environment that can mimic a live environment. VMWare Server also enables you to speed up deploy time by building a virtual machine once and deploying it many times. VMWare Server simplifies testing of various operating systems and applications.

What problem does it solve?

VMWare Server solves many problems. The solution that will appeal to most is that of cost savings. Instead of purchasing hardware for ever server needed, you can purchase one server and run multiple virtual machines on that one piece of hardware. Outside of cost savings, VMWare offers testing solutions, provisioning solutions, testing solutions, and much more.

Standout features

  • Simple installation: VMWare installs like a standard application.
  • Web-based management interface: Manage your VMWare installation via Web browser.
  • Large guest operating system support: Nearly every version of Windows and many Linux distributions are supported.
  • Supports two-processor SMP systems and enables single virtual machine to span multiple processors: Allows your virtual machines to take advantage of multi-processing.
  • Virtual state capture: Capture your virtual machine's state so if a problem arises you can roll back to a previous state.
  • Easy migration path to other VMWare products: All VMWare products are made so that upgrading to a different product is easy.

What's wrong?

The biggest problem with VMWare is that there are numerous free solutions available, which are very tempting when cutting costs is the primary purpose of a virtualization rollout. On top of that, if you are cutting costs by using VMWare Server, instead of multiple machines for multiple servers, the horsepower of the VMWare hardware better be powerful or each virtual machine will suffer.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

If you are looking to simplify and cut costs on your server installations, or if you are looking for a means to make testing and rolling out installation easier, you cannot go wrong with VMWare Server. Not only is the technology easy to use, it has proven itself the industry leader in virtualization technology. The benefits of deploying VMWare Server are many, but more than anything else, the savings you will gain make VMWare Server a no-brainer.

User rating

Have you encountered VMWare Server? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of VMWare Server in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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