9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 1, 2015 10:33 AM by continuum

    Will you recommend WS 12 for use in production ? - NO

    continuum Guru

      In all the years I use WS I always considered the virtual networking to be rock-solid.
      I never had any problems with bridged networking myself and was able to fix all related problems when somebody else reported them to me.
      Yesterday during normal use (creating Linux LiveCDs to be used as replacement for Viewzero-clients) WS 12 stopped vmnetbridge in a way that shows a new behaviour.
      net stop vmnetbridge
      net start vmnetbridge
      should fix it but the service itself as well as the registry-key that configures it disappeared.
      Recreating the key from a different controlset was possible but ineffective.
      I dont have use for a version that may interrupt my work and requires hours of troubleshooting at a random time.

      I will go back to an earlier version now: the poor handling of unexpected Windows reboots and the unstable vmnetbridge is something I cant bear any longer.

      @vmware - please reconsider the roadmap for this product
      If it goes on like this nobody will have use for a version 14 ...
      Basically all I see in the history is that working functions will get slower and less stable in newer versions.
      Sharing the VM-format with vSphere is the last reason why I still need Workstation - if the overall quality of the product gets worse and worse in all new versions we see - having vSphere compatibilty may no longer be enough one day.
      Sorry for the rant - but it was necessary

       

      Ulli

        • 1. Re: Will you recommend WS 12 for use in production ? - NO
          wila Guru

          VMware Workstation 12 is for testing, use vSphere for production on anything.

           

          Just a small list of things on where you can see that the product is slipping over time where features are only partly implemented and it is more important to add more as fix what is broken or incomplete.

           

          If a feature like auto-shutdown for shared VM's (you know those VMs that are to be run "as a service") is not considered a must then it kind of paints a picture on the wall.

          See: Re: Workstation 12 - Guests not suspending on shutdown (All Windows OSes)

          If shared VMs was a new feature for Workstation 12 then OK, but it has been there for several versions and this is still not there even while non shared VMs have auto-suspend features.

           

          They pull a feature like unity support on Linux (host and Guest)

           

          Decide that it is a good idea to have a split disk have slices that can grow beyond 2GB in fact they decide to go past the 4GB limit when the VM disk is over 128GB and thus FAT32 is no longer a disk format that can be used to move your VMs to just about any OS.

           

          USB devices that break when upgrading to a new version of Workstation.

           

          Giving guests the possibility to use 2048MB of RAM for video with users not realizing that they are using normal RAM for that instead of vRAM so slowwww graphics as the result (where the user was thinking to go faster faster)

           

          EVERY update claims to get faster, while users see the opposite most of the times (oh you are seeing slow performance, we recommend you to lower your virtual hardware version and disable 3D ... Euh... ).

           

          Since we now have DX10 support, use that as default even while it is still slower as DX9

           

          Inventing a feature called "Autoprotect" that gets users in trouble and destroys their VM instead of protects.

           

          Have things like copy&paste between two full screen VMs where you copy text in one VM and immediately paste it in the 2nd VM and getting OLD/previous clipboard contents instead of new content. Only on pasting again you get the correct data. When opening a ticket on that after several months and lots of emails/phone calls they tell you it is "by design" and that one should open a feature request to get it fixed (uhh.. NO thanks)

           

          Disk repair on vmdk's that has been broken for several versions. In fact running vmware-vdiskmanager will always show an error even if you pass it correct parameters, since many versions.

           

          Reinstall VMware Tools to fix a VMware Tools issue is unreliable, also for many versions.

           

          ....

           

           

          --

          Wil

          | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app |
          | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
          | Twitter @wilva |
          | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
          • 2. Re: Will you recommend WS 12 for use in production ? - NO
            _Royce_ Enthusiast

            Say what? I'm about to put my NT4 Servers on Workstation 12 in to production yet you say Workstation 12 is for testing only?

             

            I don't see how vSphere would help in any way for what I am doing.

            • 3. Re: Will you recommend WS 12 for use in production ? - NO
              wila Guru

              Hey _Royce_

               

              Your response is understandable.

               

              Let's take a step back and see how what we mentioned affects your particular situation.

               

              continuum complains about stability issues in the network bridge. This may or may not affect you. There can be specific factors at hand. To start with he normally hosts on Windows servers, so the issue might be windows only. You mentioned somewhere else you switched over to a Linux host.

               

              Of the list that I mentioned there are items in there that you bumped into and have addressed. But none in that list still cause you headaches AFAIK.

              Not everybody is able to address those particular issues though, that's why I made the "for testing only" remark, (think good for Q&A purposes). Especially the "no clean shutdown" on shared VMs is a sloppy one. Can't say I have another word for it and yes that is something that is handled properly with vSphere.

               

              So does our criticism affect your particular use case? Probably not anymore.

               

              I don't know about continuum but my reason for replying to this thread and giving my opinion and adding a list of open issues is that I see the list of issues getting longer with new versions.

              New features are being added to the product, yet old issues stick around for years and worse things that worked reliable, stop working and make you wonder if they also end up on the growing long list of "will never be fixed" issues.

               

              For example I cannot count the number of times where I've advised users NOT to rely on repair install in VMware Tools to fix their issues.

              I've been saying that for at least 5 years and it has been confirmed many many times. Yet it doesn't get fixed.

               

              --

              Wil

              | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app |
              | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
              | Twitter @wilva |
              | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
              • 4. Re: Will you recommend WS 12 for use in production ? - NO
                dariusd Virtuoso

                I feel like I'm putting myself into the frying pan here, but I'll try to answer just a few of these... (Lots of the points you raise, such as anything DirectX or Unity, is waaaaay outside of my own sphere, although I try to help out with them where I can.  I do know that Linux Unity support was a sink of far too much engineering and QA time than was justified by the feature's resulting quality and usage.)

                Decide that it is a good idea to have a split disk have slices that can grow beyond 2GB in fact they decide to go past the 4GB limit when the VM disk is over 128GB and thus FAT32 is no longer a disk format that can be used to move your VMs to just about any OS.

                There is an extremely good reason for this.  Most host OSes have limits on the number of files that can be opened at once – per-process limits, system-wide limits, or both.  If you create a 2 TB disk in 2 GB slices, that requires about 1000 file handles per snapshot in the chain, so even one disk with four snapshots puts you right up against the per-process handle limits of many OSes.  With three such VMs running at once, you will exceed many OSes' system-wide handle limit.  We are actually seeing folks hit those limits.  (And even if you are not hitting the handle limits, there is a cost in terms of CPU, memory and I/O for each file opened... For thousands of files, it quickly adds up.)

                 

                We figured that using >2 GB slices when needed (and not gratuitously) was a reasonable compromise.  If you have a moderately-sized disk, you keep the portability of the 2 GB slices.  If you create a huge disk that will run the risk of hitting the handle limit, you lose the portability.

                Disk repair on vmdk's that has been broken for several versions. In fact running vmware-vdiskmanager will always show an error even if you pass it correct parameters, since many versions.

                Ulli pointed me to another thread about this earlier, which I've yet to investigate fully (been perilously busy on other things here), but please know that we have put a lot of effort into improving disk repair in WS 12 and Fusion 8.  It's certainly still not perfect (and does not have artificial intelligence to deal with really complex corruption), but when we have concrete information on how we can improve the disk repair facility we've been making those improvements.  Obtaining concrete and actionable information on this has sometimes been challenging.

                 

                The bogus error message with vmware-vdiskmanager and correct arguments should be gone in WS 12 and Fusion 8.  Please let me know if you are still seeing it.

                Reinstall VMware Tools to fix a VMware Tools issue is unreliable, also for many versions.

                We've been begging for years for Microsoft to please kindly refrain from reverting our registry values and/or revoking our own permissions to our registry entries.  To date, Microsoft has not seen the underlying issues as having high enough priority for them to address it, so Windows upgrades or service packs or patches intermittently continue to kill various features – most often, it's shared folders (HGFS) that's the unfortunate victim.  Sometimes it's host services, too.  As far as I'm aware, the nature of the problem means that until Microsoft stops hosing our registry entries, we are pretty much stuck with having customers uninstall/reinstall Tools or WS (or doing spot fixes) when things break.

                 

                Cheers,

                --

                Darius

                • 5. Re: Will you recommend WS 12 for use in production ? - NO
                  _Royce_ Enthusiast

                  Thanks for clearing that up wila. From your original post it sounded like you were suggesting the WS12 was inherently immature and not suitable as production platform. That was why I reacted! I have no issues at all with my NT4 Server VMs running on Linux WS12 Pro. I recently switched from years on Virtualbox to VMware so this is all new to me. Virtualbox IMHO is a non-production suitable product, which is why I switched camps. But I digress. I have as yet not encountered any issues with WS12 that would prevent me from using it in production. I did initially have an issue with bridged networking which I was able to workaround by switching from Bridged to Custom. The net result was the same and I have no idea why this config change was necessary but it works. When I finally get around to actually purchasing WSPro (next week), I will log a support case.

                   

                  The start/stop VM with host issue I have already resolved by implementing a custom solution. I am actually happier doing it like this because I have complete control over it and I don't have to live with the restrictions of a shared VM. The solution works brilliantly.

                   

                  I plan to do some stress testing this week, with a view to going live in early-mid December.

                  The server being replaced is a very, very old HP Proliant and therefore this project is fairly critical.

                  I hope WS12 will turn out to be the correct platform, but of course only time will tell.

                  • 6. Re: Will you recommend WS 12 for use in production ? - NO
                    wila Guru

                    Hi Darius,

                     

                    First off, sorry Ulli for taking the thread off topic, I'll behave soon

                     

                    I feel like I'm putting myself into the frying pan here ...

                    Don't feel like that, me letting off steam for sure isn't aimed at anybody personally and certainly not against the developers of the product. I have a lot of respect for you guys and am aware that decisions on what you can work on are quite often made by somebody else. The issues mentioned are all "top of my head" stuff people bump into.

                     

                    The bogus error message with vmware-vdiskmanager and correct arguments should be gone in WS 12 and Fusion 8

                    W00t, confirmed for WS12. Glad to see that one gone as it caused quite a bit of confusion whenever people used it.

                     

                    re. VMware Tools repair, I'm sorry but I fail to see why Microsoft is the one to blame on that. Yes I understand that a Windows update can break stuff and agree that that part is out of your control. However a repair install on VMware Tools is within your control and that is the part which isn't working reliable. There are solutions to those type of problems, if only by executing a small patch application that verifies the registry settings at the end of a repair install. Anyways, enough off topic from my part.

                     

                    Back to the original topic items:

                    - unstable vmnetbridge issues

                    - the poor handling of unexpected Windows reboot

                     

                    --

                    Wil

                    | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app |
                    | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
                    | Twitter @wilva |
                    | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
                    • 7. Re: Will you recommend WS 12 for use in production ? - NO
                      continuum Guru

                      Hi Wil
                      dont worry - none of the things you mentioned is off topic.
                      >> WS 12 is for testing - vSphere is for production
                      I remember WS 6.5 and 7 - I recommended them for production without any doubts.
                      Nowadays I cant say that any more.

                       

                      @ Darius - you, JimMattson and a few others are the only reason why I still have some hope that the WS product may recover one day.
                      I wish that you guys had more influence on the management level.

                       

                      Ulli

                      • 8. Re: Will you recommend WS 12 for use in production ? - NO
                        Kenneth_Mark Lurker

                        Hi all,

                         

                        Just want to thanks for all of yours sharing, as I'm about to try WS 12. Looks like I'll need to

                        keep working with my WS 9 for awhile. Nothing to complain about WS 9, simply need

                        to test Win10 for company application comparability.

                        • 9. Re: Will you recommend WS 12 for use in production ? - NO
                          continuum Guru

                          Update: I did NOT manage to fix the bridged networking with WS 12. Even reinstalling did not help.
                          The latest version though did it - not sure for how long this will work - 12.0 worked as well when first installed.Interesting: with the broken version running the net start vmnetbridge command as admin had a result I have never seen before:
                          Windows 2012 server said: the service is either starting or stopping right now - try again later.