One aspect of VMware that you really need to become familiar with is the idea of Using Appliances. Now Appliances are virtual pre-built software solutions and you can find these things out on VMware's website and I'll show it to you in just a few seconds here. But these are complete virtual machines that you just download the virtual machine files and then you can just open it up as a new machine using VMware Workstation. Now this is an excellent testing tool because it gives you the opportunity and test an application without having to go through that whole irritating process of getting a separate server, a separate machine, installing an operating system that you need for this particular application. Building it from the ground up, investing a bunch time only to open up the application you're testing, play with it just a little while and then make that decision that we've all done from time to time, no I'm not going to do with this with my life. They need to do some more work on this or we're not ready to move, I don't see a compelling reason to upgrade. So this makes that whole process much, much faster, much, much easier. The bottom line you Download the Virtual Machine, you open it up and you can test the app and you haven't invested any time. If you like it, it's portable, you can also you know, you can put this on your laptop, take it to meetings, take it demos, take it before teams that have to make these decisions. Now not only can you use it to test but this is a fabulous marketing tool because if you have a solution then you can provide a properly configured virtual machine for current or prospective clients. Now this is really good because I've personally been involved with software projects before where we built a piece of software to the customer specs and then when they installed it on their machines, their machines weren't configured properly. They got errors on the install or the application didn't run fast or any kind, a number of problems can crop up and the problem might not be your application at all, it could be the environment that it's running in. They maybe running on a poorly defragmented machine or, or a poorly maintained machine, there could be viruses on the machine, all kinds of things could be a problem. But with this, you know the environment that it's in and you can ensure how it's going to behave. Now when you go out there and start reading and looking at these appliances on VMware's website, you will come across a term that looks really bizarre and notice it's JeOS, J small e, capital OS. Now what exactly is this? Well JeOS stands for Just enough Operating System. Now what you'll find in a lot of these is they're based off of Open Source Operating Systems, you see a lot of Linux and those sorts of things out there. So when they build an appliance to put out there for people to use to test their software, they'll put a stripped down version of an OS because they want to make sure that the virtual appliance is reduced in size. You don't want to do a massive, you know, 4 gigabyte download running an operating system that does, you know, 753,000 things, other than what you need to run your application and so it's reduced in size and you can optimize the performance based on your application requirements. Now you'll also have to keep that in mind when you're looking at these things because that may be running in a Just enough Operating System that when you put it into a full operating system and you got something else running, you may not see the same performance. But you're going to see this term, I just wanted you to know what it is but this is actually pretty neat. Now the next question that pops up is wait a minute, how do I do this Just enough Operating System stuff if I want to do it myself? Well out there on VMware's website they have all kinds of documents to help you and if you just go to VMware.com Appliances you can see this and so we'll jump out to VMware and notice I just went to VMware.com Appliances in Firefox. And this is the Virtual Appliances page and so notice these all Solution Categories up here that you can hit and for example I'll click on Operating Systems and this is right near the top of the page. My resolution prevents me from seeing too much here but notice you can see there is Sponsored Listings here, but here's an Ubuntu Desktop Image with VMware Tools and LXDE and you can just kind of scroll down here and notice most of these are going to be free. Notice here's an email security virtual appliances, ESVA and you can download this. Some of these you pay for, this one is free and you'll notice that it explains it right here and you can see Tech Specs on these things, you can see Resources on them. And notice you'll see usernames and passwords in the Tech Spec Tab. Let me go back to the home page on Virtual Appliances right here and I want you to see that if I scroll down to the very bottom, actually let me go back one more, there we go. If we scroll down to the very bottom, you see some really interesting things and this is just kind of cool to come look at every once in a while. These are the Featured Virtual Appliances at this time and so when you come in, you'll see some different ones. Notice Trend Micro Inter Scan Messaging Security Virtual Appliances, there is some Editor Picks here and you can see some things. Notice Micro Strategy Evaluation edition, there are some popular ones, here's an Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop with VMware Tools and here's a 9.04 Desktop and notice some of these even have user ratings. This is real interesting, FOG, a Computer Cloning Imaging Solution Server and then you can see the newest ones and you can kind of see the latest that's going on. And then you'll also see some other other resources that look interesting, for example, Developer VMS.com, that might be a pretty good thing to go to take a look at to see what else they have out there. So anyway the idea is to go download these things and you can grab a lot of functionality very, very easily and they'll even show you how to get started developing your own virtual appliances and putting them up here in a safe manner that's guaranteed by VMware. So anyway that's the whole virtual appliance world, take a look at it and I'll show you an example of one later on in the course.
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