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An Architect's View

VMware Fusion after six weeks

September 20, 2007 · 7 Comments

Back in early August, I blogged that I'd tried VMware Fusion for the first time and was very impressed. I figured I'd follow up with a more detailed report of my experiences. My untweaked copy of Vista runs very acceptably on VMware (well, as acceptably as Vista ever runs!). I run BlueDragon.NET, SQL Server Express and ColdFusion 8 all together on the same VM, along with Eclipse, all in 768Kb of PC memory. Sure, it would run better if I allocated more memory to it but then I'd need to shutdown everything on the Mac side that I wasn't using and that would be somewhat counter-productive! BlueDragon.NET happily talks to MySQL on the Mac side and ColdFusion 8 on the Mac side happily talks to SQL Server on the Windows side (yes, I run ColdFusion on both sides of the virtual wall since I am working on some client projects that are resolutely Windows-only even in the CFML code!). So that's two copies of ColdFusion 8, a copy of BlueDragon.NET, SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL all running on one MacBook Pro laptop. My only real complaint is that VMware Fusion has a small bug in the bridged network adapter that can cause Apple's AirPort card (in the laptop) to think it's being hit by a packet replay attack and it shuts the AirPort card down for 60 seconds. Nice bit of security but very frustrating when it's really just a bug in VMware's networking code. The other network adapter modes work fine but bridged seems to be the only way to be able to connect between the two sides and still access the big, bad Internet from both sides as well. I mostly just stay tethered to my ethernet cable when using VMware Fusion and I'm fine. I hope that VMware add better DirectX support at some point so I can experience Vista in all its transparent-ness.

Tags: coldfusion · osx

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ken Dunnington // Sep 21, 2007 at 5:31 AM

    Isn't competition great? Two great virtualization products that just keep getting better, what's not to love?

    Do you run your VMs off an external hard drive? And if so, what kind (Firewire or USB?) I find that I'd like to do more virtualization on the desktop, but the 100GB drive fills up too fast. I *could* get rid of the thousands of pictures of my cats, but.... nah. :)
  • 2 Sean Corfield // Sep 21, 2007 at 8:21 AM

    Competition is always good ;)

    I have all my VM images directly on my main hard drive - it's 160Gb and I still have 27Gb free.
  • 3 Marco Di Folco // Sep 22, 2007 at 4:59 AM

    Sean,

    I'm also running VMware Fusion on my MBP, my VM is running Windows XP Professional with bridged network and I never experienced any issues with my AirPort connection.

    You may want to report your issue to VMware.
  • 4 Ben G. // Sep 22, 2007 at 7:02 AM

    Thanks for the followup review! It's always nice to hear more about Fusion.

    The Airport bug was triggered by an ioctl returning an incorrect value to mean "ioctl not supported" (0 actually means "supported"). It's been fixed internally, and the fix should be available in the next release.
  • 5 Sean Corfield // Sep 22, 2007 at 8:07 AM

    Thanx Ben!
  • 6 Sean Corfield // Sep 22, 2007 at 8:08 AM

    @Marco, they know about the bug (it's all over their forums) and as Ben says it'll be fixed in the next release (which I sure hope is going to be a free update).
  • 7 Matt Ginzton // Sep 27, 2007 at 12:21 PM

    The next release is going to be a free update, version 1.1, and it's currently in beta testing; check the VMware website.

    But, the Airport-related bug Ben mentions (returning wrong value to a certain ioctl) is not the one responsible for the behavior you're seeing, though we do certainly hope to fix that one in the update as well.

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