VMware Server Beta 2 Review

The Good:

Bringing it up to level of workstation/fusion virtual machine compatibility? Vix if you are into the innards of virtualization.

The Bad:

Wow I mean where do you start? Let me walk you through my install process. I upgraded from the original vmware server to beta on an Ubuntu Gutsy box. The install process was smooth as butter and worked like a champ. I expect the smoothness because VMware is the benchmark for easy installs on Linux (only behind Google for using the Loki Installer) and has always shown that. What I never expected was the actual usage of the software. Gone is your GUI console. Hold on to that for a minute. It is gone, totally non-existstent. The GUI was replaced by a Web interface using AJAX. It all feels very Web 2.0 which is great for when I log into Digg or Facebook (Ooohh Shinny!) but this is enterprise software. What makes the web interface unbearable is the speed. Has anyone used Yahoo! Mail beta AJAX interface? It has brought this quad-processor 4GiB RAM machine to its knees. That is how the VMware Web console feels. VMware! WAKE UP! Web interfaces are great and when you make it optional like you always have with WebUI packages. Optional, it only adds to the flexibility your company has given admins and architects everywhere. I understand the reasoning, web runs everywhere and gives you a lot of options for using thin clients and PDA’s.

My other issue being that I installed the software on Ubuntu, the number one rated distro on Distrowatch. Millions of people use this distro and can even go to Wal-Mart and buy a machine with it. So why then would VMware not ship a default install that supported Ubuntu? The sudo nature of Ubuntu locks you out of the web interface. You must go in and sudo passwd root to get the web interface running. Why VMware didn’t create a group is beyond me.

This is wonderful, give me my console back now. You are no forcing me into a command line world and that spells bad news for you. If I want to roll around in the command line all day I will use Xen.

VMWare Beta