VMware Importer Now Supports VirtualPC 2007!

The VMware Fusion team recently announced that the new beta version of VMware Converter (beta 2) will allow importing of Virtual PC 2007 based virtual machines, as well as Parallels Desktop 2.5 and Parallels 3.0 based virtual machines.

This means that you can now easily convert old virtual machines that you might have running on G3/G4/G5 PowerPC Macs, as well as convert newer virtual machines on Intel Macs running Parallels to VMware Fusion – the better product in my honest opinion.

The operating systems supported are Windows XP Home and Pro, Windows Sever 2003, Windows 2000 and you also get the added bonus of being able to import Microsoft Windows Vista virtual machines from Parallels.

Take that with a grain of salt though… I do currently work for a VMware partner 🙂 On the other hand, VMware Fusion did just receive the annual MacWorld Editors’ Choice Award – you be the judge.
Here are the release notes from the VMware blog:

“The VMware Fusion team is proud to announce the release of VMware Importer Beta 2, for the importation of third-party Mac-based virtual machines to run using VMware Fusion.We’re especially excited about this release, as users can now import virtual machines created with Virtual PC 7.0 for Mac! Even though we live and breath Intel-based Macs here on Team Fusion, it’s important to remember that Intel-Macs have only been around for a little under two years now.That means there’s a lot of Mac users out there using Virtual PC 7.0 on their trusty PowerBook, iBooks, G4 and G5 Towers, and more. When it comes time to upgrade to a shiny new Intel-Mac, well, we on Team Fusion want those users to have a smooth upgrade process to the most seamless way to run Windows on a Mac.

VMware Importer Beta 2 allows for the importation of Virtual PC 7.0-based virtual machines with the following operating systems:

  • Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • Windows Server 2003

VMware Importer Beta 2 also lets users import virtual machines created using Parallels Desktop for Mac 2.5 and 3.0, including:

  • Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Vista

Check out the VMware Importer Beta 2 landing page here, and give it a whirl!

And, as always, users looking to convert a physical PC to run as a virtual machine under VMware Fusion can use VMware Converter Starter Edition to do just that in a snap.

Questions and comments are always welcome at the VMware Fusion community forums, where Fusion users come to talk Mac virtualization.”

VMware: Workstation, ACE, Player, Server releases

From the VMware blog:
Workstation 6.0.1, ACE 2.0.1, and Player 2.0.1 have all been released. These updates address security issues, introduce new functionality, and broaden guest OS support, including experimental support for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Server 2008 (code name Longhorn).In addition, Workstation 5.5.5, ACE 1.0.4, Player 1.0.5, and Server 1.0.4 have also been released. These updates address security and functionality issues.”

This is interesting because there are new versions of products to talk about, along with new features.

What really made US happy, was seeing that security is still a concern on older releases – specifically VMware Workstation 5.5 (now 5.5.5), which many developpers use to this day for many reasons.

VMware Releases VI3 Perl Toolkit Virtual Machine

Recent stock market darling VMware has just released a Perl toolkit for it’s Virtual Infrastructure virtualisation product, as well as a Perl toolkit virtual machine that you can download for free to play around with.

VMware describes the toolkit as “an easy-to-use Perl scripting interface to the VMware Infrastructure API (VI API). Administrators and developers who may be more familiar with Perl (rather than with Java, C#, or other programming languages) can readily leverage the VI API. For developers who have previously worked with the Scripting API (VmPerl API), the VI Perl Toolkit is the tool of choice.”

An example VI3 Perl script, perf.pl, can be downloaded at the VMware forums site. Perf allows you to measure the performance of your virtual machines running on ESX 2.x or 3.x servers during a specified period of time.

Parallels Desktop Mac Beta2 (Build 3094)

Oh boy, big news!

A new beta of Parallels has been released today, and is a free download for Parallels users. Coherence and BootCamp compatibility have been improved, along with a slew of other features.

Here’s the release notes for the Parallels Desktop for Mac (Beta2) page:

  • NEW! USB 2.0 support – “Plug and play” popular USB devices like external hard drives, printers, and scanners, and use them at full native speed.
    • NOTE! Current Build 3094 doesn’t support isochronous devices such as web cameras, microphones, etc.
  • NEW! Full-feature virtual CD/DVD drive – Burn CDs and DVDs directly in virtual machines, and play any copy-protected CD or DVD just like you would on a real PC
  • NEW! Improved Coherence mode – The groundbreaking feature that lets you run Windows applications without seeing Windows just got better! Now you can:
    • Place Windows applications on your Mac desktop or in your application dock. Just click to launch them directly from OS X!
    • Use Command+tab to cycle through Windows and Mac applications simultaneously, and “hide and show” Windows applications just like you would with Mac applications
    • View the Windows Command Console in Coherence mode
    • Use Coherence in Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows XP and Windows Vista!
  • NEW! Better Boot Camp support – Using your Boot Camp partition in Parallels Desktop is now easier than ever. Beta2’s Boot Camp support includes:
    • Full support for FAT32 and NTFS partitions
    • Easy offline configuration. Simply tell Parallels Desktop that you want to create a virtual machine from a Boot Camp Partition and click start. No complicated set up required!
    • No need to re-activate Windows each time you switch between Boot Camp and Parallels. Activate Windows only once inside Parallels and work in both environments
    • IMPORTANT! It is not possible to suspend a Virtual Machine that is connected to Boot Camp as it could result in an unstable system.
    • VERY IMPORTANT! Beta1 (build 3036) users must boot natively into Boot Camp and uninstall Parallels Tools for Boot Camp prior to running it in Beta2 (build 3094).
  • NEW! Parallels Transporter Beta2 bundled – migrate your real Windows PC, or existing VMware or Virtual PC VMs to Parallels virtual machines! Learn more about Parallels Transporter Beta2 >>
    • IMPORTANT! Beta1 users MUST upgrade their Transporter package on their Windows source machine before using Parallels Transporter in Beta2. Failing to do so may result in a system crash and loss of data
  • New Look and Feel – completely redesigned windows and easier to follow dialogues to make Desktop for Mac more user-friendly than ever
  • True “Drag and Drop” functionality – a long awaited feature that lets you seamlessly drag and drop files and folders from Windows to Mac OS X and vice versa
  • Read/Write Boot Camp partition – use your Apple Boot Camp Partition as a virtual HDD for Parallels Desktop for Mac
  • Virtual Machine Catalogue – now all of your virtual machines are available through a centralized VM catalogue which appears on each Parallels Desktop for Mac instance
  • One-click Virtual Machine Aliases – automatically create a desktop shortcut for your virtual machine with the OS Installation Assistant, by dragging-and-dropping from title bar, or by pressing Command-Option keys combination. Clicking on Alias automatically starts the Virtual Machine
  • Resizable Main Window – resize the Parallels Desktop for Mac main window as you do with any other Mac application
  • Auto-Adjusting Screen Resolution – Windows auto-adjusts its screen resolution to the actual main window size
  • Improved graphic performance – up to 50% faster!
  • Connect/disconnect USB devices schema improved – no more annoying “wait 5-10 seconds” message on USB device connecting to Parallels Desktop for Mac!
  • Up to 5 Virtual NICs – now each Virtual Machine can have up to five virtual network interfaces
  • Enhanced Shared Networking Mode – run Cisco VPN and many other complex networking applications in conjunction with Connection Sharing Mode

Vista on Vista Virtualization using Virtual PC 2007

I can now confirm that the Windows Vista MSDN x86 ISO is fully installable using Virtual PC 2007 Beta on Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit.

Even though these are both MSDN images, neither of them was activated, nor did I enter a serial number during the install. Just click next when they ask you for a serial, and make sure to confirm that you do not wish to enter a serial number by pressing the “no” button.
(click on thumbnails for 1600×1200 images – the virtual machine is running at 1280×1024)

Vista on Vista VirtualizationVista on Vista VirtualizationVista on Vista Virtualization

The installation took some time, even with 1GB of RAM allocated to the Virtual PC 2007 virtual machine, but after about 30 90 minutes or so, Vista Ultimate x86 virtualized on Vista Ultimate x64 using Virtual PC 2007 is a definite go-ahead-and-try-it install.

Follow normal VPC installation procedure, select Vista as the guest operating system, and chug along as the install proceeds.

Coming up next: full installation instructions.

Note: Unfortunately Virtual PC 2007 is beta, and I don’t see any plans for adding 64bit virtualization any time soon. If you have info that states otherwise, please let me know is this appears to be the only viable option for Vista VMs at the moment.

Free Download – VMWare Introduces Virtual Lab Manager Beta

VMWare announced that they will be opening the Virtual Lab Manager to the public today, and the software is now available for download (ESX 3.0.1 too!)

Virtual Lab Manager

Virtual Lab Manager is a product for managing virtual machines running on ESX 3 or VMWare Infrastructure servers, and allows you to do nifty things like save SIDs, MAC and IP addresses, and deploy groups of configurations to multiple machines.

Here’s a full rundown of the features from the datasheet:

Multi-Machine Configurations
• Create multi-machine configurations in seconds using machine templates – no limit on machine count, no manual adjustments
• View configurations in use with thumbnail console views, public-private scoping and list filtering
• Act on machines in a configuration as a unit: suspend, multi-snapshot, revert to, shutdown, turn on, turn off, suspend, reset, deploy, undeploy, clone, capture to library, and modify properties
• Share templates and multi-machine configurations between users
• Share captured, live configurations via URL-based “LiveLink” capability
• Interact with all configuration consoles side-by-side on a single browser page
• Setup machines in a configuration to boot in controlled sequence
Configuration Library
• Near-instantaneous check out of configurations with memory and CPU state preserved
• Simultaneous use of library configurations by multiple users without changing MAC and IP addresses or SID, using

VMware network fencing
• Efficient storage compression algorithms maximize library entries per storage server
• Public and private library entries
• Public-private scoping and list filtering of library
Media Library
• Central repository for all development and test media
• Tag media with descriptive attributes
• Upload media from the browser or directly to the file share
• Easily make media available to VMware-managed virtual machines
• Public-private scoping and list filtering of media library
Deployment
• Browser- or Web service-initiated deployment
• Copy from or execute from storage server
• Configuration or machine deployment granularity
• Automatic load balancing of machines deployed on host servers
• Side-by-side execution of cloned configurations across physical server boundaries, even when IP addresses are duplicated on a subnet
• Selectable provisioning heuristic – enabling rapid startup and maximum performance when deploying configurations
Machine Templates
• Instant creation of new machines from templates with distinct personalization-automated assignment of MAC and IP addresses, and SID (for Windows systems)
• New template creation via cloning and modification of existing templates
• Import pre-existing virtual machine images for use as templates
• Automated installation of mouse and keyboard enhancements for virtual machines
• Optional physical-to-virtual (P2V) capability for storage and management of existing machines
• Public-private scoping and list filtering of templates
Resource Management
• Automated tracking and issuance of IP addresses
• Storage server management: add, delete, refresh and modify properties
• Managed server management: add, delete, refresh, agent upgrade, remove from service and modify properties
Monitoring
• Active unified “in motion” view of server pool and virtual machine operations
• Drill-down on server, configuration and machine details
• All deployed machines view
• Comprehensive event and job log viewer
Web Services and Command Line Interface (Automation API)
• Full programmatic control of capture-and-restore operations
• Out-of-the-box automation with leading test automation tools
• Standards-based interface (SOAP, WSDL, HTTP)
• Sample .NET and Java code illustrating use of APIs
Administration and Security
• User, permission and quota management
• Out-of-the-box support for LDAP
• Administrator role assignment to multiple users
• User self-managed preferences
• Context-sensitive on-screen help
Installation
• Standard Windows setup.exe installer for all components
• Automated addition of managed servers to deployment pool
Supported Managed Server Environments
• VMware Infrastructure 3