Tuesday, February 07, 2006

VMware Server beans spilled

We're going to be giving away a server product, to help keep our free desktop product company. This has been covered and talked to death elsewhere; I could blather on about the business strategy behind it, but it's mostly self-explanatory. VMware is still selling ESX Server, and we're betting that the free taste of virtualization goodness will get customers excited enough to start signing POs for our pricier offerings. We'll be selling support for the free products, too.

Perhaps the only widespread misconception I've seen so far is that the existence of both Player and Server as free products means that Workstation is doomed as a for-pay product. It's not necessarily so. While it was true for some earlier releases that Workstation was a strict subset of the GSX product (which is now the free "Server" product), Workstation 5 introduced some features that were not available with GSX. E.g., Workstation lets you organize groups of related VMs into "teams" that power on and off together, share network segments with loss rate and bandwidth properties, etc. There's also a more rich set of abilities for making clones, i.e., copies of the VM, in either a heavyweight ("full clones") or lightweight ("linked clones") mode. So, it's not an absurdity to continue charging for Workstation, even given the sudden availability of other hosted VMware products for free. I'm not saying that we certainly will continue charging for WS, nor that we necessarily won't, don't believe everything you read, there's no Easter Bunny, I don't speak for VMware, and consult a physician before starting any exercise program.


Blogger sky-rise said...

I need help on my project on virtualization (grad school level). How do we create a VMM of our own? Like using C or something...

8:28 PM  
Blogger Keith Adams said...

If you're a graduate student in computer science, you should have enough of an architecture background to get started on this on your own. If you want to read about a homebrewed effort to build an x86 vmm, check out http://vmbear.sourceforge.net/. I've had the pleasure of meeting the author, and he's a really bright kid, although I think he'll find the road ahead tough.

7:12 AM  

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