Wow, what a ride. We just put out this morning (or late last night, depending on time zone) beta 1 of our new VMware Server product. Now you know why I’ve been saying “I’m really busy, can we discuss this later?”
Yes, this is the one that you may have heard rumors about on CNET, Slashdot, etc., but those sites didn’t all have the facts right.
What VMware Server Is:
- Free virtualization for servers.
- A way to give people free virtualization with the hope that they’ll consider eventually moving up to ESX for the enterprise.
- Based on VMware GSX.
- The successor to GSX.
- Capable of 64-bit guests, Virtual SMP, new guests like Ubuntu, auto-detect devices, etc.
- Capable of opening Workstation 5.5 VMs.
- Available for Linux and Windows hosts. It should be the same set that Workstation 5.5 works on.
- Ported to GTK2 (using a slightly more evolved Workstation 5.5-based UI).
What VMware Server Is Not:
- A stripped down or crippled version of VMware GSX. Server has even more capabilities than GSX did.
- A replacement for Workstation. VMware Server has no support for multiple snapshots or team functionality, and while Server is a server product, Workstation is a good desktop and development product.
- A replacement for Player. Player is still high on our priority list, and we useful for the average person who just wants to run VMs.
- A response to an apparent Xen or QEMU threat. While Xen has potential, it’s primarily just a hypervisor, and we’ve had one of those for ages. The interesting work is built on top of that (as XenSource, another proprietary software company, is doing).
- A sign that VMware is doomed. I’ve heard this one a lot, and it just makes me chuckle. This should be taken as a sign that we’re doing pretty good. How many companies have the insight and abilities to give away their products for free and still make money?
- A dead product before it begins. I don’t think there’s a worry about that. We’ve put a lot of effort into it so far, and are already hard at work on beta 2.
- A money sink for us. We’ll be making money through optional support contracts.
I’m especially proud of this product. I’ve invested a lot of time into it, and so has everybody else involved. I’d like to thank everybody who has had to put up with me telling them I’m too busy for this or that lately 🙂 We’ll be working hard on getting this to a mature 1.0 state.