Re: Virtual Machines for training

Subject: Re: Virtual Machines for training
From: <ccbranham -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 16:52:19 -0700

Sonja Marnewick writes:

> I was wondering if any of you are using Virtual Machine Technology for
> software training purposes to get around the lack of proper software,
> and hardware availability in different regional offices. As I

I work as part of a team that creates end-user training for enterprise
software development tools and we use VMWare for both training development
and delivery. Our lab exercises require a clean install environment and also
sometimes hours of setup and configuration beforehand, so VMWare is really
our only option. VMWare allows you to maintain more than one virtual test
machine inside your production machine, so it's great for working on
multiple projects. Plus you can take a snapshot of your virtual machine when
you get started and roll back if anything gets wrecked or when it's time to
install a new software build.

One caveat is that while VMWare helps with the software availability and
setup issues, it doesn't help with hardware requirements; it usually adds
more hardware requirements. Our VMWare images require 4-12 GB of disk space.
They don't run with less than 1 GB of RAM and don't run well with less than
2 GB. Networking with virtual machines is also very difficult. We're a
rather extreme case because of the hugeness of the software tools we work
with, but in our case, VMWare can turn a new high-performance PC into an
outdated clunker very quickly.

> I managed to get my hands on VMWare 4, is it any good, do you recommend
> using this technology?

We're using VMWare 4 and I recommend it without any qualifications except
what I've already described.

Craig B.


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