Taking Virtualization to the Next Level: What Is a VMware Workstation?

Whether running a standard development environment or moving into a hybrid, virtual machines are a powerful solution. They allow dispersed teams to run a variety of tools and for reps to train clients no matter what their environment is. A VMware Workstation ensures that every enterprise uses powerful tools to create powerful products.

Here’s what you need to know about setting up a VMware Workstation.

Test Multiple Platforms

A VMware Workstation gives developers and testers the chance to run their products on more than one operating system. A laptop or desktop environment is usually running a single OS, limiting the tools available. There are different tools for different operating systems.

Rather than being stuck working with only one set of tools or apps, VMware allows developers to test their product on the latest or beta version of an OS. This keeps the development environment stable while helping developers plan for the future.

Some companies stage an application in Linux while working in Windows. This task is no trouble at all for VMware.

It’s a Great Tool for IT

IT administrators’ greatest frustration is having to meet the needs of users on multiple platforms. Rolling out a single new tool or application requires admins to make massive configuration changes and predict different scenarios. While it’s important for developers and office employees alike to have access to the best tools, it’s hard for IT to please everyone.

In corporate scenarios, you’ll find legacy systems that keep one type of product running. They’ll run side by side with the latest networking and development tools. The legacy machine will never interact with the rest of the system because people will be in fear of breaking it.

While this might seem like an outdated system or a security nightmare, it’s a common scenario. The critical applications that run on an old system might be used by customers or for internal purposes.

To keep everyone happy, IT administrators rely on VMware to stage virtual operating systems or run applications. This allows for testing tools that can replace or replicate those legacy systems without risking taking them down with no backup.

They Can Run Product Demos

Workstations running VMware are great for systems engineers who need to meet with clients. While we have more tools than ever for having virtual meetings across timezones, being on site matters to clients. Having face to face contact and training customers is a more valuable practice than ever.

If you run a web-based application with a specific set of requirements running on different machines, that might seem like a hard setup to demonstrate. However, you can demonstrate it from a single laptop with VMware. Systems professionals can create a client, database, and web server on a single tool and allow their customers to see it in action.

Multiple virtual machines configured for a multi-tier application run and connect online when the product demo needs to occur. Engineers can impress customers with a fast and reliable solution thanks to VMware.

Software Developers Swear By It

Building and testing in the right environment is everything to a software developer. Without the right conditions, it’s hard to measure the efficiency and accuracy of a new application.

Developers hate working on a web application on a virtual server and then pushing it to production only to have it fail. However, this happens all the time. Developers tell their bosses all the time that “it works on my machine“.

The reason for this is that developers work on the ideal system for developers. Users work on whatever system they’re comfortable with. Rarely do the two align.

VMware allows for developers to test their product across virtual machines and take snapshots along the way. They can share the details of how the tool and OS interact along the way. This is the closest thing that developers can get to a laboratory environment and to test out many bugs and errors before production.

VMware saves a lot of headaches and a lot of the unnecessary confusion between parties during the feedback cycle. Developers will account for issues on a given OS far in advance.

VMware Makes Cross-Browser Testing a Breeze

If you’re building a web-based tool or a web application, it’s likely that tool is going to run inside of a browser. Thanks to the pervasiveness of JavaScript, applications can run faster than ever. However, the same release of Google Chrome is going to run slightly differently on Linux, Windows, and OSX.

When the exact same browser exhibits a bug on two different operating systems, it needs to be addressed. Otherwise, you take a hacksaw to your potential market, slicing out a chunk of potential users.

Testing on multiple browsers running on different operating systems used to require having a network of different host machines running at the same time. Keeping those machines clean and updated takes a lot of time and energy. Instead, VMware can handle the work.

It Offers vSphere Staging

vSphere allows virtualized solutions to have an enterprise infrastructure. Using vSphere, you can take virtual machines from the production environment and onto the Workstation in a virtual private network.

VMware admins can use the Workstation tool to run production appliances in an isolated environment. This gives admins and testers more power for configuring their new virtual tools and appliances.

Running a VMware Workstation Offers Options

No matter what kinds of products and solutions you’re creating, a VMware Workstation allows you to reach more clients. The more robust your development and testing environments are, the more powerfully every deployment will run.

If you need help setting up your small business server and running virtual machines, check out our latest guide.




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