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I am new to virtual stuff on Vmware sort of environment.I am basically testing Vmware and its various things for our needs.I have a linux 64 bit laptop.I want to know

1) The Vmware server can it be installed in this existing OS or I need to have baremetal installation for this?
2) What is the advantage of using Vmware Server on Vmware workstation ? 3) What is the use of ESX server of vmware?

I have seen some alternatives like Xen which one is better Xen or Vmware might be a debatable issue but my questions for Xen are also same I checked Citrix website.

1) I see similar products for Xen What is the advantage of using Xen Server on Xen desktop ?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

VMware Workstation (or even the free VMware Player) is a viable option if you want to run virtual machines on your existing Linux or Windows desktop/laptop. You can then move your VMs to a ESXi server later.

You can run ESX/ESXi/vSphere on bare metal, although (unsupported) you can also actually run ESXi in a virtual machine, for testing purposes. You shouldn't do this unless you already know your way around VMs. I'm a bit overwhelmed with four ESXi instances under ESXi myself. But it's a viable use of a 4 core 16 gig "desktop" for me.

"Which is better" isn't really a viable question to answer based on the existing information in your question.

Pros for XenServer:

  • Commercial XenServer (i.e. "Essentials") is less expensive (or was when I deployed it a couple of years ago) than the commercial VMware product suite.
  • XenServer integrates with higher-end features of the Citrix Netscaler load balancer (for dynamic provisioning)
  • The free XenCenter will let you manage multiple XenServer hosts from a "single pane of glass" as it were (with some limitations). VMware's multiple-host manager requires a paid license as I understand it.

Pros for VMware:

  • Expertise in VMware is more common, among both consultants and candidates for hiring. If you need to bring in outside expertise, you can find both, but VMware experts are easier to find.
  • More third-party virtualization products integrate with VMware already (Arista's vmtracer, various management and storage platforms, etc)

Common details:

  • Both have a free version. It can be used in "production" but you will likely need to upgrade to a commercial feature if you want high availability, VM migration (XenMotion/VMotion), storage migration, and other high-end features.
  • At a very basic level, either will probably do what you need, but you may want more or different features.

As an aside, Xen Desktop probably isn't applicable to this discussion... it's a virtual desktop platform, so you can effectively use a thin client and your applications/OS can run on a server. It's analogous to VMware View and ACE.

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VMWare Server requires a host OS (e.g. Windows 64-bit) and will not run on bare metal.

VMWare ESX requires bare metal and will not run on a host OS.

The benefit of one over the other is that the host OS (e.g. Windows) requires extra machine resources to run itself. If you want the fastest possible experience, you can cut out as much as possible by running on bare metal (i.e. ESX).

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