I’m becoming quite the little handy man with virtual servers at the moment. Seems every time I’m turning around, there’s a service that is a potentially good fit for one of these. And with the lightweight linux virtual servers taking relatively little memory and CPU, the choice of adding a service on to an existing box vs. making its own server is getting harder to make.

Ironically, the downside to all this is account administration. I don’t have a good general solution at hand to enable authentication from external sources, and I haven’t yet really dug into what it would take to enable external authentication for some services from an external NT or Active Directory domain.

I also decided to head agressively into VMWare (as opposed to Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005 R2). Microsoft’s product is decent, but like many MS products, it’s a lot about lockin. There’s a lot more flexibility with VMWare’s product line, and VMWare is doing the “right thing”. I just converted a MS Virtual Server machine to a VMWare machine – one that was already in a domain too. I figured it was a long shot – it would probably bust with some ethernet mac address changing. But it worked – beautifully. The only downside is that when I installed the VMWare tools, I lost the ability to find the cursor in the screen. I just uninstalled that (thank god for keyboard shortcuts) and moved on.

While I’ve heard Parallels Desktop is quite a fine product, VMWare has impressed me enough over the years that I’m holding out for something from them. Gus has a theory that we’ll see something cool at WWDC pertaining to this. God, that’d be nice. So there’s my Apple rumor for the year, eh?

Oh – and I totally know why EMC bought up VMWare. Good lord do you go through disk space fast!

Published by heckj

Joe has broad software engineering development and management experience, from startups to large companies. Joe works on projects ranging from mobile to multi-cloud distributed systems, has set up and led engineering teams and processes, as well as managing and running services. Joe also contributes and collaborates with a wide variety of open source projects, and writes online at

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