I have become a fan of VMware. I have used VirtualPC in the past but became interested in their products when they offered VMPlayer for free. When they offered free usage of the server product and encouraged the VMTN appliance community, I switched.
My use has generally been in two areas:
- Testing new slipstreamed installations of Win XP.
- Playing with pre-built appliances.
The first appliance I started playing with was Asterisk at Home or now know as Trixbox. I have downloaded several versions over the last couple of months using BitTorrent. There is a bit of learning curve for this product and I did not want to waste time setting up a test box. There is a market for supporing this product but I do not have a customer right now.
The second appliance I have started playing with is a couple of Nagios/Groundworks variants. Nagios is an open source network monitoring program and Groundwork Open Source is a free version of a commercial variant of Nagios. Due to some recent discussions I had with my son in which he maintained that our internet access sucked, I decided to investigate the matter further. I originally downloaded a prebuilt Groundwork Open Source system by Tony Su of Su Network Consulting. The good news is that he had built it. The bad news is that he released it as a virtual disk drive rather than a virtual appliance. As a result it was a little harder to set up than Trixbox. To compound the problems the network adapter needed to configured before it would do anything. Trixbox configured the network adapter during startup so this was new territory for me since this was a SUSE box.
Along the way I found a posting about baywatchos. It was a Groundwork Open Source system built upon Centos which is the same operating system used by Trixbox. My familiarity with Centos and the fact that it had Webmin already installed were pluses for me. The author even provided a nice Getting Started document in English. After a brief configuration I had it working. Gianluca, you did a fine job!
My next project will be to move these virtual appliances to my ghetto box and see how well they run. This should be amusing. Groundwork has some pretty stiff hardware requirements.