VMware Left Me

Was it me? I dont know, I was loyal, but they left me anyway – well thats how it feels

Long Time Fan
Ive been a long time (read 2000/2001) fan of VMware – they were the first and, you could argue, still are the best in their space. Im a Linux fan, have been for a while and one of the reasons that I liked VMware was because the software I bought from them (yes I paid for Workstation and upgrades) was available for my OS of choice. Whats more they took the time to make sure that the windows worked with GTK2 looks. This to me meant that they liked their Linux users, they gave a crap about us.

I was so disappointed when I moved my home server from VMware Server 1 to VMware server 2 as the Linux client had gone. At least its been replaced with a web interface, that seems like a good idea – then all operating systems can manage the server. The interface came in for some criticism but it did everything I needed it to for the most part and I could manage my home VM server while out and about.

Times change and VMWare came out with their free version of ESX – namely ESXi. Now while ESX also had a decent web interface, ESXi did not. Your only choice of a graphical interface now meant you had to run Windows. So I stayed with Server 2.0

Recently I became aware of “VMWare Go” which was a “new web interface of ESXi users”. Yay I thought, good times! Alas no, when I went to log in I was prompted with a message that said “Your broswer must be at least Firefox 3 or higher, or IE v7 or v8 to use this site”. Thats odd I thought as I am running 3.5.5. What I very quickly realised is that this wasn’t to do with browser, it was to do with OS. I tried the site from my dual boot laptop (the only place I have Windows left these days) and I was able to get in with Firefox 3.5.5 on Windows but running the wizard prompts you to download components like the .net framework and other such single platform technology. How utterly disappointing

End of the Road
What did we do VMware? Why did you abandon us? Well anyway, I guess its the end of the road then old friend. Be happy.

Im off to migrate my stuff to Xen or KVM. Im not sure which yet, Xen has Amazon using it and Citrix seem committed to open source. In fact Ian Pratt was on FLOSS Weekly earlier in the year, so they seem to have the right mindset. On the other hand the Redhat road map points to KVM.

Anyway, watch this space. Im going to take my time to decide which to chose – i am on the rebound after all 🙂


One Reply to “VMware Left Me”

  1. We use Xen at work, it’s pretty good and very efficient. The guests run very fast with little or no overhead. If you want a GUI though to manage it then I’m not the guy to advise other than to probably look at the Citrix Xen product. We use Xen in a hosted environment and manage it and the guests with the command line. It’s totally manageable that way though.
    If you hang out on the #xen IRC Freenode channel you become aware of some extremely cool stuff going on in Xen – there is a project called Remus that provides failover for a Xen guest – not only is the disc kept in sync but the memory, TCP conns, everything! It’s aim is to failover as if nothing happended to the original guest. It’s just been merged into mainline Xen and will be in the next release.
    I keep hearing good things about KVM – it’s big advantage over Xen is that it’s implemented as a kernel module – thus your KVM machine gets all the mainline kernel updates too. Xen requires a specialized kernel and thus the guests need to be patched to run with that kernel.
    Anyhow, keep us updated on which you go with and why – oh, and describe the GUI management stuff too!

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