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vmware player esx or workstation

Posted on 2010-11-12
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Can someone please tell me the differences?  I want to create a bunch of base images for sharepoint development, each will have sql server, visual studio, and some tools.  I want to be able to clone them and configure them further.

I am currently running hyper v, but I was thinking I might get a powerful notebook and and run dev images from an external drive.

1. Can someone please tell me the differences in what is above?
2. Can I switch between them?
3. Can I run it on a hyper-v host already?  Not as a vm, but on my server 2008 box?

Thanks
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Question by:jackjohnson44
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34125800
VMware Player is free, but is "feature deprived", and is a host-based hypervisor...so is Workstation (host-based, that is). Workstation costs about $189US and has more features to it...a converter...etc. ESXi is a baremetal hypervisor meaning it installs right on your hardware resources, so no OS-based overhead in addition to the hypervisor resource usage. It's a small 'footprint' and, if you're wanting to clone, template create, etc...that is the way you should go...well, ESXi Essentials..which costs around $495US.

1. Differences explained a bit above. There is no really doc on differences between ALL of VMware's products...just diff's between ESX & ESXi. But you can see here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_26510943.html
2. Umm...kind of. YOu need to use a 'converter' too...either withint Workstation, ESXi (w/vCenter) or the Standalone Converter tool to migrate (V2V) your VM between hypervisor installs.

3. You probably can run your tests on Hyper-V, though I personally haven't played with that virtualization solution in about 2yrs. It's come farther than when I last looked at it, but is still quite behind VMware.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:louisreeves
ID: 34125819
I can tell you ESX 4i is the only version of virtualization you should run (Production) . However, you may need to buy a liscense or two. WIth ESXi, you need an extra box that is dedicated. YOU can use your laptop to bring up all your machines. If you have 2 ESX boxes, the party begins and you can play with Vmotion. Get some shared storage to add to that and you get to play with HA (High availablity) and DRS Distibuted resourse scheduling. THis is the best experience an administrator can have with a comuter. THink about the first time you ever saw " The Internet" . This trumps that 1000x

Louis
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by:jackjohnson44
ID: 34126022
Thanks for the input, but for clarification

You mention ESX 4i  and ESXi.  Are they the same?  I definitely don't want anything that needs to be run on hardware.

I will check into the other stuff you mentioned, that sound intersting.  My main goal right now as a solo developer is to install sharepoint and visual studio on a dev vm.  Along the way, I want to take full copies at certain points so I can easily clone vms.  I also want to be able to easily make these images portable and copyable across laptops/desktops/portable hd.  That is why I don't want to use hyper v, which I currently have.

Having said all that, does that mean: I don't want ESX (4i or ESXi) because they run on metal?  So the only solution is vmware player or vmware workstation.  I don't mind paying the 190, but I was hoping this would be very portable so I could just bring an installer on the portable hd if I need it.  

Also, what is VMWare server?  That looks to be free too.

Thanks a lot, and sorry for all the questions, but these vms and templates will be with me for a long time, not to mention it takes forever to load everything.
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by:jackjohnson44
ID: 34126041
Also, if you really think I should get player, please let me know.  Again, I am still looking for the best option for portability.
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34126314
You can use Virtual PC 2007 on a laptop and it will run fine, particularly if you have enough RAM and a fast drive. An advantage is that you take your VHDs from Hyper-V and run them directly without having to do any conversion to VMware.

Another option I have seen is to take an entertainment type laptop with an i5 or i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, and a 7200 RPM drive and load Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-V. You get a full OS and you can run lots of VMs. Performance was very good.
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kevinhsieh earned 2000 total points
ID: 34126322
Now that I see that you are really interested in portability, I think that Virtual PC is the way to go. The install also seems to be less intrusive to the host's networking setup than VMware Server, Workstation, or Player.
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