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Fusion Faces: Jay Hodgson Uses VMware Fusion To Study Climate Change

Jay_in_snowVirtualization gets a lot of press coverage for helping businesses be greener in their IT infrastructure, consolidating many wasteful inefficiently utilized physical servers into virtual  machines, running on fully utilized, virtualized servers.

But Jay Hodgson, a Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Alabama, is using virtualization and VMware Fusion to advance a green agenda in a different way.

Jay does research on lake sediment to help advance knowledge about past climate change and landscape evolution.  That’s a picture of him doing some field work, pulling sediment out of a lake covered with ice and snow.

Jay’s Challenge

Jay’s challenge was that he has some key Windows applications that he needs to help him advance his research.  Primarily, he uses SigmaPlot and SYSTAT to help him to analyze the data that he collects out in the field.

Unfortunately, these powerful, industry-standard applications in the biological sciences don’t have Mac OS X-native versions.  Jay also uses Microsoft Access day in and out, which doesn’t have a Mac version either.

Jay found himself in the situation where he had a snazzy, powerful iMac with a 2.0 gHz Core 2 Duo, 3 GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard drive, but unable to use the power of his iMac to help his research.  So instead, he had a separate Windows PC for those applications.

Transferring files back and forth between the machines wasted time and effort, and made organization tougher, and the extra machine wasted space, and wasn’t exactly green.

The Solution

Virtualization of the sort provided by VMware Fusion offered a solution. By running Windows XP in a virtual machine on VMware Fusion, Jay is able to run all his Windows apps on his iMac with.

He had previously used another Mac virtualization product, but he prefers VMware Fusion for its stability and ease of use.  As he puts it, "VMware makes it extremely easy to use all of my data files and store them in an organized method on one computer–regardless of which operating system I need to run a program on."

What would Jay say to someone in his previous situation?

"Try the demo.  Within a day, you’ll buy a license.  It just works."


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