6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 1, 2011 10:05 PM by AndreTheGiant

    Getting Started With VMWare Virtualization Products

    BobCochran13 Novice



      I am fairly new to creating and using virtual machines, and when I look on the VMWare website, I don't see anything that will guide me in how to get started selecting VMware Virtualization products. I once used VMWare Workstation, but it was a while ago, and VMWare now seems to have a profusion of virtualization products but no real way to select one that is right for me. Is there a "getting started guide" that can help me decide on a VMware product?


      I just built a server based on an Asus KGPE-D16 motherboard and one (1) AMD Opteron 6174 processor and 32 Gb of RAM. On this, I installed a Fedora 16 host, and on the host I installed VirtualBox 4.1.6. Then I installed two guests: Fedora 16 and Windows 7 Ultimate guest, both on VirtualBox. I'm not very happy with the results of this. In particular, the Windows 7 guest locks up less than a minute after logging into it, and I find that very frustrating. When researching the VirtualBox forums I see numerous posts about Windows 7 lockups.


      So it seems like it might be helpful for me to experiment with a different virtualization product such as VMWare. I recall that Workstation was easy to use and only caused me a few problems. I could pass through USB and other hardware to the guests. Is this still the right product for me? My goal is to run several Fedora, Windows, and CentOS guests. I would like to learn Oracle 11G and have a guest dedicated to Oracle database.


      Any suggestions are deeply appreciated.




      Bob Cochran

        • 1. Re: Getting Started With VMWare Virtualization Products
          weinstein5 Guru

          Welcome to the community - There are two levels of virtualization platforms - hosted and bare metal - hosted are virtualization platforms that are installed on top of another oprating systekm like Linux or Windows - these products are Player and Workstation for Windows and LInux or FUsion for he Apple - bare metal virtualization platforms is the ESXi platform that gets installed directly on the hardware. Bare metal virtualization platform is what used when virtualizing in the data cneter.



          I would suggest starting with VMware Player ot Workstation - that way you can become familiar with virtualization - as you learn you than can creat a virtual environment where you would be able to install ESXi

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Getting Started With VMWare Virtualization Products
            BobCochran13 Novice

            Thank you, I will look again at the Workstation product. I remember it was easy to use.


            • 3. Re: Getting Started With VMWare Virtualization Products
              BobCochran13 Novice



              I have a further question. I have decided to try Workstation. I am wondering if it is possible to save my VirtualBox virtual machine file for Windows 7 and use it in Workstation? The guest implementation of Windows 7 that I have now hangs as soon as I use the Windows Aero feature. Perhaps that will persist under Workstation?


              Or should I do a clean install of Windows 7 as a Workstation virtual machine? I bought the "full" version of Windows 7 Ultimate, and I think (but may be mistaken in this) that I can reinstall and reactivate Windows 7 as many times as I need.






              • 4. Re: Getting Started With VMWare Virtualization Products
                AndreTheGiant Guru

                You can check if the VMware Standalone Converter can handle your VM format.

                • 5. Re: Getting Started With VMWare Virtualization Products
                  BobCochran13 Novice

                  Thank you very much for your help.


                  Regretfully, after using VMWare on a CentOS 6 host to create a Windows 7 Ultimate virtual machine and working with it some, I decided that too many things were not working right to achieve my goal of creating a virtual machine with little effort that just works and will perform satisfactorily for the end user (a friend who does a lot of image processing, academic book editing, higher math, and implementation of low-end databases.)


                  I experienced these problems:


                  1. Extremely poor video performance. In fact, the machine has 32 Gb of memory, a 12-core Opteron processor, and a high-end graphics card. Yet graphics on the guest OS were painfully slow.


                  I'm aware that further research, experimentation, and fine-tuning of the guest machine would have helped me, but I also have time contraints. The guest clearly just could not perform to the same level that it does when it is installed as the host OS. Sophisticated and fast image processing isn't optional for my friend, it is a requirement.


                  2. USB device pass-through is still clumsy and results are unpredictable and inconsistent. For example, I would plug a USB-based SD card reader with the guest OS running, and a dialog opened asking essentially (but definitely not clearly) whether I wanted to pass the device to the guest OS. I selected the choice which I think is for allowing pass-through to the guest, and eventually, with little feedback from the VMWare product, the device would be recognized in Windows 7. However trying to open  it in Windows Explorer to view and then save files to the guest was so grindingly slow a process that it could not be done. The guest simply struggled with an SD card reader.


                  On the other hand, I was able to update my GPS device in the Windows 7 guest with the device connected over USB. The updating process took a long time, but worked flawlessly. In fact, it gave me hope that the guest OS could be implemented with just a little trouble. I was wrong about that -- USB device implementation success varies depending on the device.


                  Again, I am aware that fiddling with the settings of the guest OS and the *.vmx file would have helped me, but time is not on my side here; my friend really wants the refreshed computer and I want to go on to other projects.


                  3. The documentation, for whatever reason, does not tell you which host OS is the best choice for a given guest OS. That hurts people just starting out with virtualization.


                  What is clear is that I need to gain more experience with virtualization and VMWare products in order to succeed with them. On the one hand, gaining experience with anything is quite good and we all consider an expert to be someone who has spent considerable amounts of time working closely with a product or service. On the other hand, this is what is preventing more rapid adoption of virtualization: the software is still for trained professionals only, or for the adventurous with both the time and patience and the money; an ordinary user can't create-a-perfect-vm-and-use-it at this time.


                  I will experiment with virtualization. It is not the download, install, and turn-over-to-the-end-user-for-use tool I had hoped for.



                  • 6. Re: Getting Started With VMWare Virtualization Products
                    AndreTheGiant Guru

                    1. Install the VMware Tools and enable Video Acceleration


                    3. There isn't a best in hosted solution. Choose a 64 bit OS, IMHO I prefer a clean Linux box.

                    Better is move to a bare metal solution like ESXi