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Look Out Big Blue, We Were Here First!: Macs in the Enterprise with VMware Fusion

macpc You know, with each passing day, the “I’m a Mac. I’m a PC” dichotomy of “fun” versus “work” grows thinner and thinner.

I mean, everyone on the VMware Fusion team knows that the Mac is a killer machine for taking care of business, thanks to the ability to run Windows on Mac with VMware Fusion. 

Me, I spend all day long, every day, working out of a Windows XP VM, running on a tricked out MacBook Pro. 

This blog post is being written in Windows Live Writer in a VM.  I browse the web in Firefox, Camino, and Safari, screencap with Skitch, make movies with iMovie, and make customer-facing presentations in Keynote, but the god’s honest truth is that for Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others, I live in a VM.

Yes, I know that those exist on the Mac, and no disrespect to the Mac Business Unit up in Redmond, or even the iWork Team in Cupertino, but I’m just used to the Windows versions of those apps.  And because they run just as fast in my VM as they do out on my Mac…well…I haven’t taken the time to change over.

And it’s not just me.  All those VMware Fusion users out there in the world who use VMware Fusion day in and day out to let them take advantage of great Mac hardware to get things done know this too. 

David Alison’s continually posts on his use of VMware Fusion to help him do .NET Visual Studio development on the Mac, which is his bread and butter for taking care of business. Gail Nickel-Kailing uses VMware Fusion and an XP VM for running her marketing consultancy business out of a Mac too.

Yum! Virtual Dog Food!

VMware, as a company, is a great example of Windows on Mac success in the Enterprise.

Every day when I walk in from the parking lot, I get to walk past our tech ops guys who run the VMware development lab.  And it always gives me great joy to see all those MacBook Pros and their glowing Apple logos, knowing that each one is running VMware Fusion and a VMware-issued Windows XP VM for interacting with the management consoles of all that big iron running in our datacenter.

Blogmaster General John Troyer Our blogmaster in chief, John Troyer, recently moved over to a shiny new MacBook Pro, running VMware Fusion, and a whole passel of VMware systems engineers out in the field, who use VMware Fusion and the Mac as their weapon of choice when bring VMware Infrastructure to the businesses of the world. 

Mike DiPetrillo, one of our most senior systems engineers, is a self-confirmed Mac-nut using a 17″ MacBook Pro as his primary machine. He hung out with us at Macworld, got interviewed by USA Today and blogged about it too.

Heck, even our CTO, Steve Herrod, runs a Mac with VMware Fusion, and our CIO runs a MacBook Air (hey! Why does he get one and I don’t!  Actually, we do have a demo MacBook Air…for special occassions ; )

But sure, Pete, of course VMware has Macs with VMware Fusion all over the place.  Of anybody, you guys ought to have that going on.  It’s basic “dog food test” reality, Pete.

OK, fair point.  I can jump up and down all day saying that the Mac plus VMware Fusion is a perfect fit in the Enterprise, but of course I’d say that right?  Only loopy virtualization junkies like those VMware Fusion guys could make it work, right?  Wrong.

Goodbye ThinkPads…Hello…Macs with VMware Fusion?

In case you all hadn’t seen, apparently IBM has been piloting letting users use MacBook Pros and VMware Fusion.  Yes.  You heard right: the originators of the ThinkPad (of which I was a big fan before I switched to my MacBook Pro) are piloting letting IBM staff use MacBook Pros with VMware Fusion to run important IBM apps that don’t run on the Mac like:

  • DB2 Database and Websphere app server
  • IBM’s Rational Application Developer IDE for J2EE apps
  • IBM’s WebSphere Integration Developer SOA development tool
  • Support for IBM’s InfoPrint workgroup laser printers
  • Microsoft Visio diagraming software and NetMeeting video conferencing tool

im_a_virtualized_macThat’s a hefty load of apps, but I’m sure that a beefy MacBook Pro with VMware Fusion will serve them just fine.  I know that it works great at VMware for just that sort of abuse.

And perhaps, the folks over at Apple might just have to rethink their dichotomy, and maybe have to add a third character: “Hi. I’m a virtualized Mac.”

I think we have some models for them already (see at right!).

What About You?

But what about you?  Do you have a “VMware Fusion and Macs in the Enterprise” story to share?  Put it in the comments, and let us know how it’s working out for you!

4 thoughts on “Look Out Big Blue, We Were Here First!: Macs in the Enterprise with VMware Fusion

  1. Maxim Porges

    I’ve been using the Rational Software Modeler suite on my MacBook Pro running VMWare Fusion for over 18 months, and it works great.
    – max

    Reply
  2. kOnst

    It would be great if when I pressed an icon in the dock with the VMWare icon, that icon opened up like folders in dock or like windows START menu and display selected windows programs for me

    Reply
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