Hello again everyone and welcome to my sixth post in my series, The Support Outsider – a unique look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (that's me), Intern Moses Masih.
My first introduction to Workstation came in college where one of my friends had it on his computer and I saw a few things that it offered but had never gotten my hands on the product until I started working at VMware. Installing workstation was very easy and I was easily able to understand how it works on my own from playing around with it.
Last week I was given a task to automate the exporting of reports from one of the analytics packages we use for our ftp site. I was given a choice between either exporting every single report from the first of January 2011 to the current date or to develop a script for automating this process. Naturally I picked developing a script which would be two days of work, over exporting the reports manually which would obviously take longer. Manually exporting would have also consumed time that would be better spent on other tasks later in the week.
I approached one of the developers on a different team to help me develop the script and on his suggestion we created a new virtual machine on my desktop using VMware Workstation 8 following the steps in this KB article: Creating virtual machines in VMware Workstation (1018415).
We developed the script in this virtual machine and then using Workstation's server feature found in Workstation 8 (Running VMware Workstation 8 as a server with shared virtual machines (2005585) I made the virtual machine remotely accessible for the developer to modify the code where and whenever needed and also to check the code I was writing myself and be able to compile the program from his machine. This, I discovered, is a very handy feature in Workstation and it saved me a lot of time.
Once the coding was complete I simply ran the automation script in the background which exported all the reports for me on the same virtual machine used for development purposes while I spent my time working on other tasks. I was already impressed with Workstation for other features that it offers (which I might discuss in future posts) but for developing in a team spread out in different locations this new feature is great!
Find out more about Workstation in the Workstation blog, or to get an overview of the product yourself, visit: http://www.vmware.com/products/workstation/overview.html
Come back next week to check on my adventures as I go exploring the world of virtualization!