Reasons to Develop using VMs

When planning any software development project, whether it is a point or enterprise solution, there are several key questions to answer before a line of code is written.  How will you know it’ll work on the required operating systems?  How can you give the developers a standard development environment without buying or configuring hardware?  Once developed, how can it be tested?  Virtualization is a simple yet effective way for addressing these critical concerns related to software development environmentsContinue Reading

Defragmenting VMs for Performance

If you’ve worked with virtualization long enough, you may have noticed that performance can degrade over time.  This phenomenon is related to disk fragmentation, particularly in scenarios where a lot of software installation, removal, and updates are performed.  As you might imagine, this is the situation for many test environments and development environments.  To recover lost performance capabilities, try defragmenting your virtual machines.  Continue Reading

CAD and Virtualization

Virtualization has progressed considerably in the past few years, but graphics performance has been notoriously poor because VMs (virtual machines) have been unable to take advantage of the host’s video card.  Even if your workstation has the latest from NVidia, ATI, or some other video card manufacturer, the VM has had no way of taking advantage of the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) processing power or VRAM (Video RAM).  There are still a handful of things you can do to optimize graphics performance (for CAD) with virtualizationContinue Reading

Setting Up an EPDM Test Environment

When people ask us about SolidWorks Enterprise PDM best practices, we often note how critical it is to have a test environment available for critical business systems that matches the production environment. A test environment allows you to validate patches, service packs, version upgrades, and configuration changes in an environment that will not impact production systems. For SolidWorks Enterprise PDM (EPDM), creating a test environment is a very simple process.  Continue Reading

Accessing Virtual Disks Via Windows

One of the often overlooked features of VMWare Workstation is the Virtual Disk Mapping utility.  Available through the standard VMware Workstation GUI, the tool maps a Windows drive letter to a virtual disk used in a VM.  Mapping a virtual disk can be done much quicker and easier than launching the VM to access the files on the virtual machine’s disks.  This functionality ships with VMware Workstation for Windows; other tools are available for Linux users, but won’t be covered in this article.  Continue Reading

What’s New VMware Workstation 7

You skipped Windows Vista, and now you really want to see if Windows 7 is worth the leap.  Or maybe you may want to test SQL Server 2008 installed on Windows Server 2008 for your PDM system.  For many IT professionals today, the solution of choice for these challenges is virtualization.  And if VMware is your virtualization brand of choice, you’ll be glad to know that VMware Workstation 7 is available, with some new features just for those of us in the CAD and 3D arenas.  Continue Reading

What’s New VMware Workstation 7

You skipped Windows Vista, and now you really want to see if Windows 7 is worth the leap.  Or maybe you may want to test SQL Server 2008 installed on Windows Server 2008 for your PDM system.  For many IT professionals today, the solution of choice for these challenges is virtualization.  And if VMware is your virtualization brand of choice, you’ll be glad to know that VMware Workstation 7 is available, with some new features just for those of us in the CAD and 3D arenas.  Continue Reading