Workstation 8 - working good?
Over a year ago I switched a physical pfsense machine over to workstation server 2.0 vm and it's been running pretty solid. I just started playing with workstation, and wanted to consolidate all the vm software that I've been using (hyper-v, workstation, vm server). I'd like to have an alternative if a machine died, and right now it would be a rush of converting machines to keep it running.
I moved all my hyper-v machines over to workstation (small domain server, test machines) to shared vm's in workstation and everything is working great.
I am now close, but am wanting to switch over my 2 machines on my vmware server machine to workstation (pfsense + another windows box) so I only have 1 solution.
Anyone have some feedback on how your workstation 8 is running. Stable, and no issues?
Guess nobody is using it…
Here are my thoughts after using it for a bit (windows machines, pfsense not moved until proved good).
1. workstation does not shutdown shared vm's nicely. Vmware server sent the shutdown message to the vm's and the shutdown nicely. Workstation shuts down the power to the machine (like pulling the plug). I have to remember to shut down the vm's, then shutdown the host. Really really dumb!
2. Having issues on windows vm in regards to my network. I have an adapter than on my windows host has all the protocols disabled (don't need the host getting an ip) except for vmware, so that the guests get the ip. When I restart the host,the clients have the adapter as not connected, and I have to manually enable it.
#2 I think I can find a workaround, as there must be a reason. #1 I see via google that it's a common problem, so I don't know if I can get over it. It might work on my windows vm where I manage them, but not on my critical pfsense setup. If the host needs a reboot, I just want to remotely reboot the host and not have to worry about the guests there.
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I've been running 8 since shortly after it was released and haven't had any issues. I've always manually shut down my VMs before shutting down the host, so not sure that's any different than it's ever been. All my always-on VMs run in ESX too. I also have a dedicated NIC strictly with the VMware bridge protocol, though I don't use it a whole lot I haven't seen any issues. Most of my really crazy networking setups run in ESX too with a bunch of VLANs. I do beat the heck out of Workstation and use it heavily, though maybe wouldn't hit the issues you're seeing just by the nature of how I use it.
Looked around and found some solutions, and also decided a few things.
1. Shutting down vm's nicely is not part of workstation. There are a few hacks to get some scripts in windows to force the machines to shutdown, but it's not part of workstation. So it's not quite a server replacement at this point. I fail to see what's the point of having auto-startup, but no auto-shutdown as a feature of a shared vm. I'm hoping by version 9 or so, they will actually get that working.
2. The network adapter not getting marked as connected seems to be an issue, not just with workstation, but server 2.0 also. The solution seems to be to mark some vmware servers as automatic (delayed). The problem seems to happen when the server comes up too fast, before the network is up. Delaying it, solves the problem.
My end solution ended up sticking with server 2.0 for the time being. Workstation as a server seems to still be a bit immature (8 is 1st attempt to get the "shared" vm's working). I'd go with ESX, but I am using the machine as a windows host for other reasons, so ESX is out (and I know I have a piece of hardware that has only windows drivers).
Just an FYI for anyone attempting the same thing… PFsense on all these configurations works with no issues.