Talk:VMware Server

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BetacommandBot 08:35, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

List of limitations?[edit]

There's more info in this article about what VMware server can't do, as opposed to what it actually does.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:49, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps there should be a summary of the differences between virtualised OS's and hardward based OS, possibly seperated into advantages and disadvantages. I don't mean dot points, but more of a quick overview of each major point relating to VMware Server. In fact, seing as this article is stricly about a specific virtualisation product (ableit one of the leading ones), maybe this section should be removed altogether or severly shortened. Perhaps a quick overview of the differences between other VMware products (such as workstation, player ESX), and possibly other competing products. Thoughts?Whippen (talk) 11:05, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Risk of dataloss if the user makes an error[edit]

I did loose data with VMWare. It is strange. In a wordprocessor there is mostly an undo option. So if deleting a word by mistake it can be corrected. In an operating system there is a trashbin. So if, by mistake, a file is deleted it can be recovered. But for VMWare a client, which is in fact a complete system, moving the mouse a half inche too much to the left, from a button which is needed every day it is enough to loose all your work. Without a warning and without a possibility to recover. And VMware thinks this is normal behaviour. The solution can be multiple and very easy to program.

  • If a snapshot is taken there can be, each time when VMWare client is started a warning to commit or revert. So not needless a snapshot stays active with all risks of data loss. (a few lines of code)
  • Build in a warning (one line of code)
  • Default set the "Revert to snapshot" more hidden in the menu. (functionality exists allready)
  • Rename the original client file, so it can be recoverd if needed. (one line of code, no performance loss at all, only temporary needing additional diskspace)

I felt a warning is needed for VMWare users to prevent data loss. --Bernard2 (talk) 15:33, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I had to remove your addition to the article, because "revert to snapshot" is a basic function of the software, and this sounds like a case of PEBKAC (problem exists between keyboard and chair) - or mouse and chair, in this case. Let's not raise the alarm over a case of user error.
That said, some of your suggestions do sound reasonable, so I suggest that you take them up with VMware Support (especially with both VMware Server and Workstation now still in Beta form).
EagleOne\Talk 21:37, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
The denial of the problem IS the problem. VMWare indeed says the same and feels it is normal that users lose data there data for a long period for there complete system. If VMWare thinks this is normal, potential users has to be warned about this. And if they accept this risk then they can freely use VMWare. The denial is deep inside VMWare and I informed them, by me dealer enough. They felt, like you, this is normal. I feel it is a wasted of time trying to continue informing different parts inside VMWare if they keep on deny the problem. To solve the problem itself is very easy. --Bernard2 (talk) 08:58, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
It's only a "problem" if you click the wrong button, as you evidently did. Accept some responsibility for your own actions and, rather than blame VMware for building in a "Revert to Snapshot" function (which I find to be very useful) just accept that you screwed up and weren't careful enough with your mouse clicks. — EagleOne\Talk 15:44, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
On (database) field level there is a check if something is wrong. This is named fieldvalidation. At application level there is support if somethings is wrong, this is called a undo function. On operating level there is a function when the wrong file is deleted. This is called the trashbin. But for losing a complete system it is 'normal" that if your mouse is moving a half inch to the left you lose everything. Some selfreflection would help. I do agree that the function "Revert to snapshot: is can be useful. But this does not mean losing all your data have to be lost. And I gave solutions for that. But if you feel it is normal you losing you complete system if once you move you mouse a half inch wrong then future users must be warned for this. --Bernard2 (talk) 17:51, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

I removed the "risk of dataloss" section, as it wrongly suggested a product fault. I sympathize with Bernard2, however, the product did what you told it to. It reverted to a snapshot, which tells vmware to restore the state of the machine as of that snapshot. To me, this is one of the best features. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

If VMWare was a open source I could solved it myself. The code to change is minor. But let us solve this in a Wiki style. Agree on what we agree and agree on what we do not agree with.
  1. I made a mistake I think you do agree.
  2. The mistake was moving the mouse a half inch to much to the left. I think you do agree.
  3. This results in clicking on the button "Revert to Snapshot" I think you do agree.
  4. Then I lost all changes until the last snapshot. This can be mayor depending on the situation. I think you do agree.
  5. It is impossible to retrieve my lost data. I think you do agree.
  6. I feel like this is not good solution and is a error, allthought a designed error. Not a bug which should not happen. So I feel the kind of error I made and the result of the error are disproportional. On this statement I think you disagree with me.
What happend to me can happen to anybody, and did happen to more people, just search in Google. A Wikipedia page should be about all aspects not only the positive one. So we can mention the content off the above text and mention below that there is a disagreement if this is wanted or not wanted behaviour. --Bernard2 (talk) 09:28, 24 April 2008 (UTC)--
I think this only happens to people who make the mistake of clicking the wrong button. The Revert to Snapshot function is working as designed, so I wouldn't call this a bug, or an "error", or anything but a difference in design philosophies. I like the idea of an optional confirmation dialog box before reverting to a snapshot, as a safety net for clueless users. I do stress the optional part, however, because I know what I'm doing and a dialog would just slow me down. And this is not the place to suggest product changes; please do so at the Server and Workstation Beta forums that I linked to, above.
The only thing that I agree with on your list is "[you] made a mistake". — EagleOne\Talk 15:59, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
I tried to solve it in a wiki style. You do not. You do repeat yourself. In the last sentence you even deny things you said your self before. Solving the problem is much less work then making you understand there is a problem. Denial IS the problem. And you proved that even more.--Bernard2 (talk) 06:48, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
While I sympathize with your error resulting in user data, I hope they do not change the product in the way described. The computing world is already rife with warning-ware such as "Are you sure?" dialog boxes and "Press ENTER to continue" prompts. At first, these measures might help prevent an error, but very quickly users will become accustomed to hitting whatever keyboard CUA shortcut keystrokes are needed to dismiss the "Are you sure?" dialog box. It would be horrible to imagine what would happen with automobiles if "are you sure" type measures were taken with the gas pedal.
For what it is worth, the workstation flavor of the vmware product does in fact have the "are you sure" type dialog box when reverting snapshots.

Unfortunatley there's no place for original research on Wikipedia. Kindly ensure that any edits about this topic are fully referenced as per WP:V. Socrates2008 (Talk) 11:20, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Thats is a wiki argument which I do accept. When I found some I will come back on this issue, if not I will leave it this way. Thank you for your contribution Socrates. --Bernard2 (talk) 11:30, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Some complains about this subject found on internet :

Quote : "All I want is a confirmation box that asks "Do you really want to revert to a snapshot from six months ago and discard everything since then, ..."

Quote : "I got it all back up and running but made the mistake of booting the snapshot of the fileserver, which was taken in November of 2007, effectively leaving me without data for the time between then and now."

Quote : "If the user chooses VMware Player > Troubleshoot > Revert to Reimage Snapshot, a warning message appears. It cautions that all changes to the virtual machine will be lost and urges the user to take this action only if advised to do so by the ACE administrator."

Quote : "Note: Whatever state was saved in the last suspend is lost."

So even VMWare itself is aware that data can be lost and warn about that. --Bernard2 (talk) 12:59, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

VMware and the wider user base are aware of a lot of issues, bugs, security concerns and missing features - they belong in other places, not on WP. This, and other articles, would quickly get out of hand growing exponentially if they were a place to list such things. If you can verify that there are many established issues with the UI, not just one issue, then it might be worthy of mentioning. Take a look at Windows_2000 - it is a featured article, and has a small section on security concerns. There is no listing of individual issues, just a broad overiew of very well known and verifiable critisims.Whippen (talk) 12:49, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

The essens for a user is that he wants to be able to continue with his work. The rest are details. There are different solutions for this :

  • Backup (data is saved but not the system)
  • Image (data and system are saved but only for identical hardware)
  • Vitualisation (data and system are saved)

So virtualisation seems the best solution and if proper implemented. And this is what VMware server does. But for the user virtualisation is just a detail, continue with his work is the main issue. And this is what I am talking about. If we should talk about details and main issues, virtualisation is nothing more then a detail to archive this goal. And ofcourse in this page about VMware server even details of how the virtualisation is done should be mentioned. Otherwise this article has no value. But losing all your data and system is not a detail or a missing feature. It is even not a security bug. For a security bug a knowledge person is needed with bad intentions. What I mention is that it is sufficient that a user moves his mouse a half inch to much to the left and lose all his changes. That mayor. If that is possible then virtualisation, at least with VMware server is a very bad solution to protect data and system. It was never so easy to lose your complete system. Thats not a missing feature or a security bug. It is mayor. And it should be mentioned on WP because WP should be objective. --Bernard2 (talk) 15:29, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

User's don't normally use VMware Server directly. It is administrators who setup a VMware environment, for use by users (which may include themselves). If you are letting your users near the VMware server console, and even letting unqualified administrators near it, then there is nothing that the software can do, or should do, to prevent stupidity.Whippen (talk) 12:30, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
You proved once and again that my first statement "Denial is the problem" was correct. Arguments has no value. If VMWare was open source I could solve it faster then the time I spend with this discussion. But it isn't. That is a fact of life. Adding more arguments is useless in this enviroment. It is lost of my time and loss of other peoples company's data, because they are not warned. This may be huge ammount of money and company's may have to close and people may lose there jobs. But you do not have to pay for that so what is the problem? This discussion is closed. -- (talk) 10:04, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Can I assume that you forgot to login, Bernard2? Denial of the problem (from several people, as well as VMware) should indicate to you that the issue is not widespread. Take a look at the other issues listed in the article. Hardware not supported, OS's not supported, 64-bit not supported, etc - they are all show stoppers, and WILL cause major issues if not addressed. The issue you have raised is a usability issue, with the POTENTIAL to cause damage. The company I work for sells a lot of VMWare gear. Some of priliminary questions we always ask are - do you have a physical NTP server? Do you need to run Exchange or MSSQL (ie, needing 64-bit OS)? etc, etc - we don't ask quetions about the potential for loss of data if a user makes a mistake. I will agree with you that the discussion appears closed. I can understand your frustrations though, and there are other places where you can work on helping others, and potentionally making headway with VMware. Whippen (talk) 12:19, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

NTP servers[edit]

"Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers should not run under VMware." Microsoft Domain controllers are NTP servers, and to the best of my knowledge, fully supported by Microsoft under VMware. Socrates2008 (Talk) 12:56, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

That's correct, NTP services and daemons should not be run under a VMware guest. It has nothing to do with Windows, nor Domain Controllers though, as the same applies to every OS - the issue is with hardware clocking emulation. I'm not exactly sure what you are pointing out with the above - it is already mentioned in the article. Yes, it could do with an expansion, but I don't think your paragraph cuts it. For a start, being or not being a Domain Controller has nothing to do with NTP, it is just that a large majority of domain controllers are setup as NTP servers, but this does not have to be the case. Whippen (talk) 13:08, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Every* domain controller is a time source in a Windows domain, and domain controllers are supported by Ms under VMware. Don't you agree there's a contradiction there? Socrates2008 (Talk) 13:17, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
You are incorrect in stating that every DC is also an NTP server - thats where the issue issue. The Windows NTP is simply a service which can be installed and uninstalled from add/remove programs, completely independing of the fact the box is a DC, member server, workgroup server, workstation, or anything else you might configure it as. If you are running a an NTP server on VMware, or infact ANY virtualisation software, then you need to disable and possibly uninstall the NTP service. Whippen (talk) 00:39, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Windows Time Service Socrates2008 (Talk) 06:20, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

That quote is about the Windows Time Service, not NTP. Providing a time from an upstream source via this service, and running a NTP service, are two different things. I'm still not 100% sure what your point is, even after seeing your recent edits to the main article. Whippen (talk) 09:05, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Lets keep discussing here, instead of starting an edit war.

1. PDC's do not exist in the post NT days. It is all about FSMO roles now.

2. The drift is significant enough to affect Kerberos. shows 20 minutes per hour. Whippen (talk) 10:37, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

3. Setting the guest to sync with the host is not limited to a particular configuration of Windows, as you alluded to by including PDC. Whippen (talk) 10:38, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

  • 1. VMware used that terminology in their doc, although I agree it's incorrect
  • 2. Cool
  • 3. The PDC emulator is at the top of the time hierarchy in a Windows domain. "Some customers have a requirement to use a virtual machine as a primary domain controller for a Windows network. The primary domain controller must run W32Time as a time server, to provide time to secondary domain controllers and other hosts on the network. However, the domain controller does not need to use W32Time's client functionality to receive time from another source and synchronize the virtual machine's own clock. So, you can use VMware Tools to synchronize the virtual machine's clock while still running W32Time in a server-only mode. For instructions on setting up W32Time this way, refer to Microsoft documentation on the Windows Time Service; specifically, the NoSync registry option." (Timekeeping in VMware Virtual Machines) Socrates2008 (Talk) 10:55, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • 1. If you know it is incorrect, why use it?
  • 2. In that case, can you please remove the disputed tag?
  • 3. I completely disagree with your assertion about the PDC, but that is beside the point. VMware Server can be configured to sync the guest OS with the host OS. It is not a function of a DC, PDC, BDC, FSMO roles, or any other configuration - what the OS does with the sync'ed time is just totally irrelevant. Whippen (talk) 11:35, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • 1. Paraphrasing VMWare - let it be.
  • 2. Done
  • 3. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. Socrates2008 (Talk) 12:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Do you disagree with PDC's, or with the inclusion of it in this article? I don't even think it needs to be mentioned at all in this artcle. Whippen (talk) 12:20, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm happy with the current version - so if you are too, then let's leave it at that. Socrates2008 (Talk) 13:36, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm happy. Whippen (talk) 01:29, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

x64 Windows Host Compatibility[edit]

Having read over this article and looked at the sources cited and also the VMWare site, I cannot find anywhere but this page that mentions a problem with VMWare Server on Windows x64 hosts. The link cited is a general reference to the fact that unsigned drivers are frowned upon in x64, but does not mention anything about whether this affects VMWare Server. VMWare's extensive... alright, virtually nonexistent technical documentation certainly makes no mention of such a thing. Is there a source for such a claim, other that Original Research? (talk) 11:30, 22 July 2008 (UTC) Bob

I really haven't looked into it much, but [1] seems to show that 64 bit Windows OS's have been supported for 4 years. I found a few other similar results from Google too.Whippen (talk) 13:10, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
The kernel driving signing requirement was introduced by Microsoft for 64-bit editions of Vista and Server 2008. So while VMware has previously supported 64-bit editions of Windows XP and Server 2003, the last time I looked, these drivers were still unsigned and therefore can't be installed on Vista or Server 2008. In response to customers' protests on its site, VMware has cited cost as the prohibiting factor ($6000 if I remember correctly - should we pass the hat around?), however I suspect that the true reason is that they do not want VMware Server to compete with the ESX product. Socrates2008 (Talk) 13:32, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, forgot to mention that VMware have been deleting some of the discussion threads about this topic from their communities website, as many have become quite inflamed with angry customers. This censorship may account partly for the lack of info/visibility on the VMware site. Socrates2008 (Talk) 13:43, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
You are wrong. See below. Tolstoy143 - "Quos vult perdere dementat" (talk) 02:29, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

VMWare Server 2.0[edit]

It was recently released and there are a large number of major changes. There seems to be a native 64 bit version for Linux, and support Vista and Server 2008 as both a guest and host OS, both 32 and 64 bit versions. All administration looks like it is done via a web interface now. I am not positive about all of this and other changes, but this article needs alot of work done on it to bring it up to the current version of VMWare Server, and to conform a little better with Wikipedia standards it seems. I'll be doing some more work with 2.0 and reading more VMWare documents about it. I'll try to fix up this article as best I can but I am not experienced with Wikipedia and I don't exactly have alot of free time, any help with this article would be greatly appreicated. Gimpy530 (talk) 03:27, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

I added new section in article and mentioned the web server intrface . I made a simple comaparsion with Ms virtual server in scope of web interface and VSS . I really agree with you that this article is becoming outdated and with very little info . Still alot of work ( info and refrencing is needed to be done . Melnakeeb (talk) 11:02, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Despite looking, I've not read anything from VMware yet that indicates support for 64-bit Vista/Server 2008 hosts. Also, contrary to one of the recent edits to this article, the 32-bit version of VMware Server cannot be installed on the a 64-bit platform as there are kernel-mode drivers involved. Socrates2008 (Talk) 04:40, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I am running it right now on Vista Ultimate 64 bit and it also seems to be working fine, all hardware is working inside of VMWare and during the install I got no errors about unsigned drivers like I would have with VMWare Server 1. I have not yet found anything from VMWare saying that it supports a Windows 64 bit host, but I'll keep looking.Gimpy530 (talk) 23:59, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
It is clearly stated in the User's Guide that 64-bit Windows Server hosts are supported, so I am not sure if you looked very hard. Read the link below (see page 25).
I do not work for VMWare, but I have personally installed and managed many instantiations of VMWare Server, ESXi, and VMWare ESX on everything from Windows to Linux, bth 32-bit and 64-bit. I even run ESXi at home and VMWare Server 2.0 on the Vista 64 machine on which I am typing.
I have been running VMWare Server 2.0 on Vista 64 since Beta 2, even with UAC enabled. The only restriction is that it you can only run the 32-bit mode version. I believe Socrates and others are getting confused with running older versions on Vista 64.
Even older versions of VMWare Server worked, just with more difficulty. In the case of Server 2.0 I just installed and it worked on multiple machines, and others have had success as well. The only delta may be that my systems are joined to a Windows 2003 mixed-mode domain with default GPOs.
I uploaded an image: Image Link on Wikipedia
Also if you read the VMWare Server Users Guide you will see that 64-bit Windows OS is indeed supported, but only server additions are officially.

By the Way, the drivers are signed! See the following image I scraped from my system showing they are digitally signed by Microsoft:

Tolstoy143 - "Quos vult perdere dementat" (talk) 03:25, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Good news, and thanks for clarifying this - I overlooked what I was specifically looking for in the release notes. Socrates2008 (Talk) 03:43, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't mean to be pedantic, but surely the driver signer should by "Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher", not the lowercase version shown in that image. ~~ [Jam][talk] 07:45, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
It is lowercase on my system as well. Most likely just a lazy programmer or administrator. Gimpy530 (talk) 17:33, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
It is not pedantic, but it is not the first driver I have seen like that. Microsoft has issued several signing certs within their labs and in this case the signing cert was imported into a store using lowercase. Tolstoy143 - "Quos vult perdere dementat" (talk) 02:32, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

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