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Wayne Atherton

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Virtual Machines

Hi there,

I have recently begun life as a pre sales consultant, and want so expert advice, on what approach should i pursue in order to have access to all our companies demonstration vm builds.

There are six in the team, and any one of us can require the use of a specific vm at any given time. As it stands, the team have local copies of vm builds, all of varying build stages, what i'd like to get to, was a centralised hub, where i could build a base vm with snapshots of all our software pre built, which can be access by all at any time.

My next point, is how would one go about actually, accessing these whilst not having access to a network - my thoughts on this, was to use some sort of dongle, but would the network be strong enough to fix the purpose?

If you have anything to share, then please do.

Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
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Are you using VMware vSphere ?
You could but would be very dependant on network speed which would vary alot.

I would get a copy of the free VMware workstation on your local computer and then just copy the VMs from your internal network onto a laptop and run them there so they can see them?

Alternatively you will have to go down the RDP access - in most cases they will have a network point or WiFi you can use which will then suffice to show them remotely?

Hope this helps :)
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Wayne Atherton


Not sure about VMWare vSphere, would need to check with our internal IT team. Would using this solve my problem?

MPJ - this is what we currently do, and is not how i wont to continue to work - keeping everything to date in one place, and then accessing it in one place, is a lot better.
To answer your 1st question - that is dependent, more than likely, on 'permissions' granted to you by your IT Team, or whoever is responsible for creating VMs and running your virtual infrastructure.

Secondly, the 'central hub' you suggest sounds like what a virtual admin would be using. A central mgmt tool for virtual infrastructure, at least for VMware, is vCenter Server. You can see all VMs in a Pool or Folder created for a 'tenant or tenants'. Again, for you to be able to 'see' this infrastructure centrally, you would need to have certain access rights by your virtual admin.

Now, if you just want a VM to 'play with', there is a 'free' (and small cost) solution. You can download & install VMware Player on your workstation and create a VM that way. You can also buy (for about $199US) VMware Workstation and do it that way. Why use Worksation? You get a bit more features. Templates are only a feature of vSphere's vCenter Server though. But there is a way to do what you want. If you had Workstation or Player, you can create a 'base VM', then power it down and let that be your "template" so to speak. You can then use vCenter Converter Standalone tool (also free) to clone that VM. The other good thing about Workstation over Player is the use of snapshots. If you're using your VM for whatever and there's a potential that it would mess up the OS, an app on your VM, or whatever, you first take a snapshot of that VM then update the VM or do whatever. If all goes well, you 'delete the snap' which commits all changes to disk. If the VM messes up, you revert the VM to previous state and "no harm, no foul" so to speak.

Anyway, there are a couple options, but may not be exactly what you're after. The main thing to do really is get with your virtual administration team to see if you can do what you want. Because, the most likely answer to your question just may simply be 'permissions' to the VMs or 'central mgmt server'.

thanks coolsport.

we currently, all have local copies of Workstation on our respective laptops. The problem we face, is that each individual build is different (personal configurations etc).

What I'm aiming to achieve, is to say, I need to demo this piece of code on client site, go to a central location and fire up a pre-built (known to have all functionality working) and present, but also allow for another one of my team to perform exactly the same behaviour, as it stands the team don't have a uniform set of vm builds, with our product range on, which is causing issues when they have to present.

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thanks to all who responded