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VMware Server on Windows

Andrew Kutz has been writing some nice material about VMware Server at SearchServerVirtualization.com. His latest: VMware Server on Windows vs. VMware Server on Linux.

On to happier topics. The biggest reason to host VMware Server on Windows is the host operating system’s manageability. When joined to an Active Directory, Windows can take advantage of centrally managed domain accounts, group policy, SMS and many other must-have features for controlling large pools of servers. The stand-out reasons to run VMware Server on Linux are an easy-to-use command-line interface and the fact that the host OS is free.

And SSV has put up a nice table of contents to Andrew’s recent 8-part series, VMware on Windows, which includes

  • Introduction: How VMware Server Works
  • Components and preparing the host server
  • Installing Windows and configuration tips
  • Windows security and Internet Information Server
  • SMTP and VMware Server
  • Configuring VMware Server
  • Creating a virtual machine
  • Installing a guest operating system and conclusions

4 thoughts on “VMware Server on Windows

  1. Felipe Alfaro Solana

    Sorry, but I dont agree with the point of “Windows is more manageable”. What is the point of adding an hypervisor (like VMware) to a domain? That adds unnecessary complexity.
    I want simple hosting environments where I can uninstall all the cruft that don’t use. I don’t need a GUI to manage VMware or Xen or whatever. I don’t need a Web browser, and I don’t need Solitaire, Winmine, Outlook Express, and so on. On Linux, I can customize the system in such a way that I can keep what I really need and remove the rest. I only need ports 22/tcp and 902/tcp. The rest can be removed, and a firewall configured in place so that I can connect remotely to the machine using VMware Console or SSH to perform host updates.
    What running VMware on Linux brings to the table is that you can deploy a host system with a minimum set of services, which makes it more manageable, simple, easy to understand, faster and, of course, more secure.
    And if you want centralized hypervisor management, there are tools out there, like LDAP, that allow you to do that.

  2. jtroyer at vmware

    Andrew (the author) is a Windows guy, so he’s speaking to a substantial body of IT admins who live in a Windows-centric world. Admins usually find that just picking up just a smidgen of unix goes a long way and running VMware Server on Linux is not hard.

  3. Schley Andrew Kutz

    I am glad that people are enjoying my articles. Felipe, if I may address your concern about my “Windows is more manageable” comment.
    First of all, I never actually said Windows is more manageable, I said that adding a Windows server to a domain increases its manageability. And this is absolutely true. jtroyer referred to me as a Windows guy, and I will gladly represent myself as such, but I also happen to be a Linux guy and an OS X guy. I cross the OS bridge whenever I want, it just depends on what I want to do. I run several Linux and Windows servers, and to me managing several Windows servers is much easier thanks to the things like Group Policy, WSUS, and domain accounts. Sure, there are similar things in Linux and OS X such as CFEngine/Managed Preferences, yum/apt/Apple Updates, and LDAP/OpenDirectory integration, but Windows + Active Directory is easily the most thought through overall solution at this time. So as a guy who feels at home on the command line as much as he does behind the Start button, I declare that to someone without much experience running anything, running VMware Server on a bunch of Windows servers is easier than running it on several Linux servers.
    That said, please keep in mind the conclusion that I draw at the end of the article. In summary I make the statement that you should run VMware Server on whatever OS you are most comfortable with, because it will be the better managed server because of it.
    Additionally, please be careful of what you post. Even on Linux you need to open ports 8222 and 8333 if you want the MUI, and port 905 is a good one as well. Also, if you actually had read my series on VMware Server on Windows you will have found that I am no slouch on security and list out a plethora of services you can disable on a Windows box.
    Anyway, thanks again for letting me know that someone is actually reading my stuff!

  4. zac

    With nlite you can create a windows os as lean as any linux and retain its ease of management.

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