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Im running a bunch of different developement server images, both windows and linux images, on VMWare Server 1.0.9 on a Windows Server 2003.

Is there any reasons to upgrade to 2.0.x?

And is there any risks in upgrading or in staying on 1.0.9?

Edit: I know that VMWare has a long list of impressive new features in v2.0.x, but has anyone had any bad expiriences with the upgrade from the previous version?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

In my case, the "new features" involved:

1 - Extra bloat 2 - They took the ease of use of 1.0 and threw it out of the window. 3 - Stupid Java/Tomcat system that simply refused to work after installing

I don't "hate" the new interface, it's more like "I can't make it work!" (worked in Linux, not in windows)

So, my advice is, stay as long as you can on 1.0 until they fix this or you really need to upgrade (for example, vmw server is incompatible with newest linux kernels - as host)

In the meantime consider other alternatives like VirtualBox, etc

(In my case I have a Windows Server 2003 64-bit guest in Linux)

In your case, Windows Server 2003 host, just stay on 1.0, I guess you'll do fine.

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Adding to your answer: if ins't broke, dont fix it. If the 1.0 version works for you and you dont any bug fix that exists only in 2.0, stay there. –  Leonel Martins May 29 '09 at 22:02

The two noticable differences that I've encountered are the lack of RAW disk access in Server 2.x and the web-based management UI.

RAW disk access for VMs is unavailable in Server 2.x. So if you have VMs that need raw disk access you're basically blocked here unless you can convert them. This can have some pros and cons. In the scenario where I was using RAW disk access, my VM actually became much more stable when I was forced to use VHDs (spanning the entire disk) for storage.

The Web-based management interface takes some getting used to. I absolutely hated it when I first started using Server 2.x, but it's growing on me. The fact that I can now manipulate or have desktop access to VMs regardless of which machine I'm at without having to install the management client is a definite plus.

Another thing that I like about Server 2.x is that it shows the memory consumption and CPU usage of each VM at the current moment. You can get this info other ways in Server 1.x, but it's there on the default page with Server 2.x.

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You really need to try Server 2.0 and see if you like it. If you use the web interface, it's much different than 1.0. You can use the Windows-based VI client instead. Some people like the new web interface and others hate it. 64-bit support is a big reason many people chose to upgrade. Finally, 2.0 has more memory overhead than 1.0.

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Remember that you don't have to use that web interface for everything though. yourserver:8333/client/VMware-viclient.exe for the console. –  Chris_K May 29 '09 at 17:09
    
Thanks for the reminder, I added that info to my answer. –  kbyrd May 29 '09 at 18:45

Your risks are that staying with an older system that eventually they'll stop supporting it. As for benefits check VMware's site for 2.0 features and see if it applies to you:

http://www.vmware.com/products/server/features.html

New Features in VMware Server 2

* New operating system support: The broadest operating system support of any host-based virtualization platform currently available, including support for Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista Business Edition and Ultimate Edition (guest only), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and Ubuntu 8.04.
* 64-bit operating system support: Use 64-bit guest operating systems on 64-bit hardware to enable more scalable and higher performing computing solutions.  In addition, Server 2 will run natively on 64-bit Linux host operating systems. 
* VMware Infrastructure (VI) Web Access management interface: VI Web Access management interface provides a simple, flexible, secure, intuitive and productive management experience.  Plus, access thousands of pre-built, pre-configured, ready-to-run enterprise applications packaged with an operating system inside a virtual machine at the Virtual Appliance Marketplace.
* Independent virtual machine console: With the new VMware Remote Console, you can access your virtual machine consoles independent of the VI Web Access management interface.
* More scalable virtual machines: Support for up to 8 GB of RAM and up to10 virtual network interface cards per virtual machine, transfer data at faster data rates from USB 2.0 devices plus add new SCSI hard disks and controllers to a running virtual machine.
* Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS):  Properly backup the state of the Windows virtual machines when using the snapshot feature to maintain data integrity of the applications running inside the virtual machine.
* Support for Virtual Machine Interface (VMI): This feature enables transparent paravirtualization, in which a single binary version of the operating system can run either on native hardware or in paravirtualized mode to improve performance in specific Linux environments.
* Virtual Machine Communication Interface (VMCI): Support for fast and efficient communication between a virtual machine and the host operating system and between two or more virtual machines on the same host.
* Support for VIX API 1.6: This feature provides a programming interface for automating virtual machine and guest operations.

For me I'd say that x64 bit support is huge as more resource intensive apps could benefit from x64 environment. Another benefit of coming up to speed is it will make your migration that much easier if you decide to jump up to the ESX-class virtualization solutions.

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