TUCOWS ARTICLE

How To Utilize VMware Workstation to Work Smarter

Part 2 in our series of articles on virtualization takes a look at VMware Workstation. Learn to work smarter.
Published: Oct 30, 2007
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows
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VMware Workstation 5.5
Shareware
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Utilize VMware Workstation To Work Smarter

by Michael E. Callahan aka Dr. File Finder


Part 2 in a series on virtualization

Introduction

Last week I talked about virtualization. What it is and how it works. While virtualization is targeted at large companies it's my opinion that it can be of real benefit to families, schools, and more. Virtualization makes it easy for anyone to standardize what is on and in each virtual machine. It also makes it easy to recover from a crash, to copy your "computer" from one machine to another, and so much more. I'll share a brief story with you.

Yesterday I had a problem on my system that required I wipe the entire drive and start over. A disaster? No, but certainly an inconvenience. As I've noted in a number of articles I work in virtual machines all day. The virtual machine I was using was on my external drive N. So, I simply unplugged the external drive from my main computer and plugged it into my laptop. I ran VMware Workstation on my laptop, opened the same virtual machine I was using from my desktop, and viola, I was back to work. Sure, I had to reformat my main computers hard drive, reinstall Windows, and then reinstall the other programs I keep on my main physical computer. The point is that because of virtual machines I didn't lose any data. I didn't lose any time working. I lost 2 emails and that's it. Something to think about as we take a look at VMware Workstation.

A Look At VMware Workstation

VMware Workstation is a powerful desktop tool that lets you create "virtual machines". As I explained last week these machines have everything your regular computer has. This includes memory, CD and DVD drives, hard drives, floppy drives, and more. On top of that you can install all your regular software in them. I've used virtual machines for so long now I don't even think about it. To show you I took a screen shot of the virtual computer I'm working in as I write this. This computer has everything I need to work. I can clone it. I can enlarge it. I can even connect to the other computers, both physical and virtual, on my network. I can copy files from one machine to another, synchronize folders between machines, and run multiple virtual machines at once. If I make a mistake on this virtual machine all I have to do is go back to the last "snapshot" and the problem is fixed. With VMware Workstation you can create multiple "virtual computers" and you can install programs on each one you create. Have one machine for your 10 year old and another one for your 16 year old. You can take "snapshots" of the virtual computer at any stage and then go back to a particular stage anytime you want. Your children can download things and if they download something bad you can fix it in a few mouse clicks.

The Benefits of VMWare Workstation

From my personal perspective VMware Workstation provides users with a huge number of benefits. The performance is excellent. You can also have all of the things that are important to you in a virtual machine. Documents, photos, music, and more. You can easily clone a machine over and over. VMware Workstation makes it easy to setup a new computer. All you have to do is move the virtual machine files to the new machine, install VMware Workstation or VMware Player, and you're up and running.

With VMware Workstation you can run multiple operating systems on one computer and at the same time! No rebooting, no formatting. If you have a crash in one machine the others are still fine. Just a few of the benefits of VMware Workstation include:

  • Ability to clone virtual machines
  • Develop software under different operating systems
  • Turn your physical computer into a virtual machine
  • Import and alter virtual machines
  • Test software under various operating systems
  • Simplify deployment of new computers
  • Standardize your "base" virtual machine
  • And so much more!

VMware Workstation helps you to be more flexible. You can also maintain a safe environment because each virtual machine is totally separate from the physical machine. The benefits to large companies are clear, but I think home users can also benefit.

Summing It Up!

VMware Workstation, by VMware Corporation, is a powerful tool that has applications in software development, IT, education, and at home. The free VMware Player means nearly everyone can run a virtual machine that they download from the VMware site. A great way to "get your feet wet" with virtualization., To experience all the power you'll want to try VMware Workstation. This is simply amazing technology and it offers so much potential for businesses, homes, students, teachers, doctors offices, and more. Virtual machines can be used to test things, rapidly deploy new computers, and much more.

Give VMwware Workstation a try. VMware Workstation has received numerous awards including the Tucows Editor's Choice Award, "Must Have Application" designation, Dr. File Finder Favorite, winner of the Shareware Industry Award, and more. I give it my highest recommendation.


If you have a question on how to do something on the computer you can submit it via email by clicking HERE You will not receive a reply, but all topics will be considered.


About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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