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VMware Workstation V9 Changes

I have VMware Workstation Version 9 running just fine. VMware Tools have changed and I have worked out (with help from E-E) how to get around the changes.

The VMware Workstation hardware stuff appears to have changed. My Windows 98 machine (originally made with VMware Workstation V1 and working at hardware level 5.x) failed to run. I had to make a new VM and then use the option to "Use an existing machine". That allowed Windows 98 to run.  So all my machines (DOS 6.3, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT4 Workstation, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Window Vista Business and Windows 8 Release Candidate) all run. I have not yet tried any of my Linux machines, but no doubt they will run, or I can make them do so.

So then my question is:

What is really new in VMware Workstation V9?  Is there something I can do now that I could not before?

I do not have a problem needing an answer, so I will let this go for a few days and award points for good information.

Thanks. .... Thinkpads_User
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John Hurst
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John Hurst
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2 Solutions
 
Ryan RoodCommented:
As per VMWare's post:

http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-workstation-082312.html

Key new features in VMware Workstation 9 include:
•Windows 8 Support– Easy install simplifies the task of creating virtual machines for Windows 8 that can run simultaneously with a variety of legacy operating systems. Unity mode intelligently works with Windows 8 applications, and multi-touch support ensures a true Windows 8 experience.
•More Powerful Virtual Machines – Faster startup performance, USB 3.0 support for Windows 8 virtual machines, Intel™ Ivy Bridge compatibility, more powerful virtualization extensions, virtual performance counters, support for OpenGL 2.1 on Linux and improved 3D graphics performance make running highly demanding applications simple and efficient.
•Increased Mobility – A new Web interface allows access to virtual machines running in Workstation or on VMware vSphere® from tablets, smart phones, laptops or desktop PCs.  This high performance, Web-based interface delivers a native desktop experience and does not require flash or browser-based plug-ins.
•Restricted Virtual Machines – IT administrators and instructors can create virtual machines and configure them to prevent employees or students from dragging and dropping files between virtual and physical desktops, attaching devices, or tampering with the virtual machine settings.  Once restrictions are configured, the virtual machines can be encrypted and distributed to run on Mac, Windows, or Linux PCs with VMware Fusion® 5 Professional, Workstation 9, or VMware Player™ 5.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Author Commented:
That is interesting information. I had read some of that when I installed VMware Workstation 9.

I already have Windows 8 running (Workstation V8) and detest Metro, so on a desktop "the true Windows 8 experience" evades me.

I will study "More powerful virtual machines". My Thinkpad is aging and needs replacement, so I will keep this one in mind.

Increased Mobility: If anyone has done this with a desktop (laptop) computer, I would be very interested to know.

I will also study "Restricted Virtual machines"  Has anyone looked into this?  And what does it do.

Thanks. .... Thinkpads_User
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
As far as I'm aware, v9 brings features in Fusion 5.0, vSphere 5.1 together, also some features have been merged from the original ACE Product.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
From a practical perspective, there's little difference between 8 & 9 for users (like us) who simply use it as a basic hypervisor for clients that reside on the same machine.    The only significant feature that MAY be useful for some is the support for multi-touch devices under Windows 8 ... but, like you, I'm not overly enamored with Metro, and unless you have a touch panel display that's irrelevant anyway.     Other than the touch support, Windows 8 runs just fine on VMWare Workstation 8 (as I'm sure you know).

It would be interesting to know just how much better the 3D graphics performance actually is ==>   if you have a Vista or '7 VM that you had configured with v8 hardware running under v8 and did a WEI assessment on; it would be interesting to know how much the WEI improves if you update that VM to v9 hardware and rerun the assessment.

Probably the most intriguing feature is one that VMWare makes it very clear that they do NOT "support" ... but does work  ==> the ability to run a hypervisor in a VM.    i.e. you can install VMWare or Hyper-V in a virtual machine !!      I suspect the performance isn't overly impressive, but it's nevertheless a very intriguing feature.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Author Commented:
Instinctively (no evidence), general performance for virtual machines under V9 was every bit as good as, and perhaps snappier than under V8 and prior. Any given machine in V9 seems to run just fine for normal use.

So I did some tests in light of your thoughts above. Here are the results for a Vista Business 64-bit virual machine.

Machine:

Host Windows 7 machine  CPU = 6.0, RAM = 6.0, Graphics = 4.3, Gaming = 5.8, Drive = 5.9
Thinkpad T61p 2 cores

Vista on V8 (6.5 -7 hdwe) CPU = 5.1, RAM = 4.5, Graphics = 3.5, Gaming = 5.8, Drive = 5.9

Vista on V9 (6.5 -7 hdwe) CPU = 5.1, RAM = 4.5, Graphics = 5.9, Gaming = 5.1, Drive =5.9
(Rerun Performance)

Vista on V9 (V9 hdwe)  CPU = 5.9, RAM = 4.5, Graphics = 5.9, Gaming = 5.9, Drive =5.9
(Thinkcentre 4 core host)

So even on "old" VMware hardware (6.5-7), Graphics increased and then increased again when converting the VMware to V9 for the Vista machine.

Everything is better on the Desktop (Thinkcenter M90p) because it is a much newer and stronger machine. I really must get a new Thinkpad but I am waiting until one comes with Windows 8. Then I will buy the recovery DVD's and force Microsoft to give me a Windows 7 license to run while waiting for Microsoft to come to their senses. I see today Samsung is going to provide Windows 8 desktop machines with their own Start Button.

Also interesting is that the Vista machine on the laptop did not require re-activation, but the same machine (backup copy on desktop) did require re=activation (and passed).

... Thinkpads_User
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
It does look like the graphics performance has been somewhat improved.   It would have been inteesting to see what V8's performance was with v8 hardware ... but since you've already converted it to v9 hardware, you can't go backwards.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Author Commented:
Now I have changed the hardware version on my Vista machine on the Thinkpad to VMware Hardware V9 (irrevocable going forward now), and it produced the same Grpahics scores as I got running this machine on my Thinkcenter Desktop.

So now I get CPU = 5.1, RAM = 4.5, Graphics = 5.9, Gaming = 5.9 and Hard Drive = 5.9

This is actually very good for a 5 year old Thinkpad. It really is time to move on.

From Vmware Release notes:  A new Web interface allows access to virtual machines running in Workstation or on VMware vSphere® from tablets, smart phones,

I read that when I installed V9. What are they talking about?  And have you used it?

... Thinkpads_User
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
similar technology used in the vSphere Web Client for vSphere vCenter Server, Workstation 9.0 is the competitor to Client Hyper-V!
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Author Commented:
I have a client with a substantial server running ESX (now vSphere I think). It runs a BES server, a Mail filtering server (Symantec) and a standard server for QuickBooks. It runs those three things just like real machines and indeed, QuickBooks speeded up significantly for having "its own" server.

So it appears that this technology in Workstation V9 is what is making my virtual machines run mostly like real machines.

... Thinkpads_User
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I suspect the remote access feature works very well, although I don't have v9 to try it.

You can, by the way, access v8 (and earlier) VMs remotely very easily by simply installing LogMeIn on the virtual machine.     It works exactly like it does with "real" systems.

... but clearly having a built-in web host feature in v9 is "slicker" -- and likely provides more responsive remote access.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Author Commented:
Interesting that I built my Windows 8 machine using VMware Workstation V8 and hardware level V8, using a Windows 7 machine template. The Windows Experience Index was about 4.2.

I re-ran the WEI as was but using VMware Workstation V9, and it dropped to 2.0 - all because of the Graphics score change.

I shut down, changed the hardware level to V9, started back up and re-ran the WEI and it went back to 4.2.

So for anyone experimenting with Windows 8 in a VM, they really should be using VMware Workstation V9.

... Thinkpads_User
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Sounds like your graphics are virtually identical with Win8 in a v8 machine and a v9 machine -- about 4.2 in either case.    My Win8 system scores 4.5 in Workstation 8 using v8 hardware on a Core 2 Duo 6850 with an 8800GT graphics adapter -- the graphics component scores 6.7.

r.e. the re-activation requirment -- in my experience it depends on whether you "copy" the VM (requires re-activation) or "move" it (does not require re-activation).
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Author Commented:
I guess this question has run its course. The biggest value in upgrading to VMware Workstation V9 has been the performance. Thanks, garycase, for all the helpful information.

... Thinkapds_User
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