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What Virtual machine do you use?

What Virtual machine do you use?   105 members have voted

  1. 1. What Virtual machine do you use?

    • Vmware
      63
    • Microsoft Virtual PC
      29
    • I don't use them, I test everything on my poor computer
      10
    • I don't know what virtual machines are
      2

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35 posts in this topic

Another long running poll I see.

VMware for me, because:

  • It's reliable and time-tested (mature), and still fast & easy
  • You have a full-featured desktop app for those with more complex needs, and it just keeps getting better and better: ACE, VDI, record/replay debugging, etc
  • You have the freeware player
  • You have a free version for servers (also works fine for "standard" needs on a workstation)
  • You have an upgrade path to a high-end server product (ESX/ESXi)
  • Lots of extremely powerful & useful features on the server products, such as VMotion
  • Large set of different management tools for different needs -- they're good too
  • It runs on different platforms and also accepts mostly anything as a guest OS
  • There's loads of pre-built appliances for it
  • Advanced networking: multiple virtual NICs per guest, multiple virtual switches, VLANs, etc, using one or more physical NICs/ports
  • All the other and extremely useful apps that one uses with it, like P2V and the Converter
  • The powerful scripting APIs: VmPerl (using perl) and VmCOM (using any language that supports COM objects -- VBScript, JScript, C++, C#, VB.NET, Java, etc) & VIX
  • The incredibly cool Visual Studio addon (debug your processes running inside a VM!) and so many other perks for programmers
  • The new and amazing VI toolkit, that lets you use PowerShell to do anything with your VMs
  • The various SDKs supplementing the scripting APIs
  • Support for a good range of hardware, like USB devices and smardcard readers in guest OS'es, plus 3D acceleration and such
  • Solid drivers for the guest OS'es (and not just for windows either)
  • Great documentation
  • Support forums, blogs, sites, books written about it, support contracts if you need it, etc.
  • Doesn't require you to rush out to buy Win2008 licenses + CALs and all that expensive stuff to use (unlike Hyper V) -- it'll even run on a free OS!

And that's just off the top of my head...

Nothing comes even close. It's light-years ahead of the rest.

Edited by crahak
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Virtual PC on my desktop - it's free. I don't need USB supports, although it would be nice; and yes, just create a copy of the VHD and you got yourself a snapshot. also, you can open vhd with winimage or a similar program in case you need to access files offline. networking is simple in my opinion on vpc. to minimize vhd size, you could use ghost it, restore it, then make copy before running the machine so that it doesn't create a huge pagefile.

i use vbox on my laptop. it's allright. supports usb. networking was hard to setup as i use wireless. only thing is i can't access the hard drive files offline like vpc hard drives files.

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crahak,

Very nice list!

We use VMWare Server (on top of 2003) to host 5 guest Win2003/2000 server OSs. We will be migrating to ESX 3.5 very soon.

-John

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crahak,

Very nice list!

Thanks! One could probably add LOTS more stuff to it.

Virtual PC on my desktop - it's free.

VMware Server is free too (and a FAR better product IMO). You don't have to make use of the server features (like starting VMs as a service) to use it.

just create a copy of the VHD and you got yourself a snapshot

That's not what snapshots are at all! This is extremely wasteful at best. When you use snapshots, it only stores the differences from that point (in a different file). You can even make snapshots from an existing snapshot (stores only the differences since that one). It's extremely useful for many purposes (repackaging apps, testing apps/patches, etc). I sure wouldn't want to be using various snapshots on different VMs this way (copying the whole multi-GB virtual disk) when testing something, I'd quickly be wasting hundreds of GBs (and wasting time copying huge files too).

you can open vhd with winimage or a similar program in case you need to access files offline

Hardly a new/special/exclusive feature. You can mount vdmk images using DiskMount (vmware-mount.exe) for free, no need to buy things like winimage or such. And it's not windows-only either! Comes with full documentation too. And there's even several front ends for it (in case "vmware-mount x: somefile.vdmk" is too scary) and loads of other such utilities.

Again, nothing comes even close to VMware in terms of features.

Edited by crahak
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VMware Server is free too

I think it's also larger. I tend to go for installs that are small. And the price is functionality but that I can sacrifice.

That's not what snapshots are at all! This is extremely wasteful at best.

Perhaps if you make a lot of changes you may need incremental snapshots as you describe them. I'm a home user and my virt machine hardly changes much so one backup suffices for me.

Hardly a new/special/exclusive feature. You can mount vdmk images using DiskMount (vmware-mount.exe) for free, ...

Never said it was new/special/exclusive feature. As a matter of fact, I hardly ever access my virtual drive offline. Was just mentioning it's possible.

Again, nothing comes even close to VMware in terms of features.

Okay, okay man. I'm not arguing that VPC is great and better than VMWare. All I'm saying is it meets my needs. Calm down. We're just sharing what virtual machine we use; not arguing about which one is best.

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Good! Looks like we are a plethora of virtualisation adepts with differing scope and needs here.

One plus point of VMware which has not been mentioned yet is the ability to run an installed OS from a physical hard disk (not for the faint of heart but so cool!) Not possible or at least not documented with MS VPC far as I know.

Now I think I'll ask a question : among the virtual machine software products, is there a (free) one that will run on g'd old Windows 9x ? I know the old versions of Connectix VPC used to, but they are not free. Oh, I should add the product should not make use of hardware virtualisation facilities (IA or AMD64)...

Cheers,

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Talking about mounting disk images, VMware just released their VDDK -- Virtual Disk Development Kit (again, with full docs and all). Should come in handy!

And seemingly MS is back to the old lying to make their sub-par virtualization products look good, namely by using SSDs to make I/O speed look good with Hyper-V (and using stupid small block sizes too), drastically inflating their apparent performance (until you read the fine print). They're WAY behind in performance & features, and way more expensive too (why am I not even surprised?): $495 for ESXi (total cost, for a better product), or $999 for Win 2008 standard with Hyper-V plus an extra $140/every 5 users for extra CALs (only 5 included) e.g. $700 more if you need 25 extra CALs (nevermind the ESXi box can likely handle twice as many VMs too)

Edited by crahak
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what about Sun xVM VirtualBox? its pretty good, and it offers an open-source version :)

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Vmware & VirtualBox All the way!

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I use VPC 2007 on XP. It has an NT4 Workstation, NT4 Server, Server 2003 Standard and Windows 2000 Pro. I use it just for fun or when i'm bored.

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I played around with VBox some more and a couple of things were irritating:

1) Somehow it screwed up my HDD registration after doing the some snapshots to the point where I couldn't start the VM I had created. What's with this HDD registration?

2) Networking is overly complicated if you plan to network guest and host... you have to create a network bridge. VPC is so simple, nothing needed at all, it just works.

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vmware is the best of its kind...

virtual pc doens't support 64-bit guest.. not sure if now it does...

in vmware you can do dozens of configuration

so i choose virtual pc - you won't believe this.

joking... craps

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