What Does Pay 'Virtualware' Deliver that the Free Ones Don't?

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by appster, Dec 31, 2007.

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  1. appster

    appster Registered Member

    Jun 19, 2007
    Paradise (Hawaii)
    I find myself extremely interested in setting up a virtual environment in order to experiment with WinVista. I now use WinXP and I don't want to even think about replacing XP until I can do my own experimenting with Vista and my often-used apps. Please let's not get into a Vista vs XP discussion. This is only mentioned because I want to use virtualization software ('virtualware') to evaluate if Vista is worth serious permanent consideration (for me).

    In this regard, I am learning that there is free virtualiware such as VirtualPC, Virtual Box and VM Player. Then there's rather expensive virtualware, such as VMware Workstation (the subject of another recent thread in this forum). So what I would like to know is what features/benefits (for my intended use) does VMware Workstation offer that the free 'virtualwares' do not?

    Thanks & Happy New Year!
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    VMware Workstation allows you to create virtual machines whereas the player only lets you run them. There may be other differences Im not entirely sure.

    The free options should be enough for you.
  3. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Tricky Question
    Virtual Box has worked well for me with Linux, XP, BSD
    Virtual PC never tried
    Parallels never tried : no Mac
    XEN = complex
    Qemu: intersting complex
    Others ??

    VMware workstation and VM Player might be a good start: frree and effective
    AFAICT for destop use these two offer almost exactly the same functions as paid for workstation. ( there was a deal for ACE bundled with Workstation and VM Player is part of the package)

    I am simple end user
    Fwiw, think commercial v open source as a rough comparison
    Workstation is now a massive commercial enterprise with demanding "high end" users who require reliability, documentation and support.
    VMWare has opened a big lead in the market.
    Open source developments might be a bit less supported and require some extra learning and trialling but my experience with VBox was good and they have a commercial side

    Realistically there is no escaping 'virualware' start experimenting with VMware server and Player.
    Use VBox to get an idea re concepts

    Go here and create VM's to experiment; amazing site.
    " Vista is no longer experimental"
    Create tailored VMs: actually more options than VMWare.

    In terms of Bang for Buck what I paid for for Workstation has amortised itself into cents per hour useage/cents per Gb created and used (and discarded with the traditional 'aarrgghh'; WTF now :D ) rates and I can still use the freeware.
    Go for it.
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Jan 28, 2005
    NSW, Australia

    I did the same.

    I suggest trying the free Microsoft Virtual PC. It will be adequate for your current needs. VMWare has more features but you don't need them yet.
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Sep 20, 2003
    Just to corrrect one thing. VM Workstation is not free. Probably most expensive, but worth it.

    Appster, I wanted to start the same way. So I looked at Microsofts, Virtual PC. Never could get it to connect to the net. Trialed the VM Workstation, and have never looked back.

    What I like is it is so realistic in every way. If I need to do something with the disk on my desktops, and don't know what I'll encounter I can do it in the VM machine, and see exactly what happens, and if I make a mistake the rollback undoes it.

    One thing, to get effective use out the VM it needs resources, and that means the hardware of the host as to be adequate. People talk about stuff running slowly in the VM. I don't see that, but I was able to set up my VM with a 2 processors, and a full gig of ram.

  6. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    on my old pc i used wmware server which is also free.
    cant use it atm on my new pc because it doesnt support vista yet but the 2.0 beta does.
    dont know what the limitations are but its a very decent app.
    if you cant afford wmware workstation try wmware server.
    since computers and servers have so many multiple cores these days companys are starting to use wmware to have virtual servers rather than having one hardware server=one server
    instead it can mean 1 hardware server= like 3 virtual servers.
  7. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    May 9, 2005

    VMware Server is almost as good as Workstation, except you can't make more than a single snapshot per virtual machine. It's the most wholesome product.

    VirtualBox is also good, but problems can start if you have more than a single adapter - this is where you need some networking skills. VMware is more transparent in that regard. But VirtualBox is lighter.

    Microsoft VirtualPC lags in performance overall and does not work well with Linux.

  8. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Sorry i knew I had this somewhere: a nice distillation:
  9. gkweb

    gkweb Expert Firewall Tester

    Aug 29, 2003
    FRANCE, Rouen (76)

    I have used previous free Virtual PC versions before and am now using Virtual PC 2007, works like a charm on Vista x64. I have different VM hosts, I can temporarily save or not changes when I exit, and ultimately cancel all previous saved changes to go back to a clean host. I don't see what a not free VM software would bring me more.

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