For the past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of development and use of the VMWare Server GSX edition; the edition that is freely available for download from VMWare's website.
VMWare is a product that establishes 'vitualization'. This will allow you to run guest or virtual operating systems on top of a host operating system. After a lot of problems with the software, I decided it would be good to report on my findings to help others online as well.
Originally, the plan was to install VMWare server on a 64-bit AMD dual-core processor using Windows 2000 as the host operating system. From there, I would then create a guest or virtual server running Ubuntu Linux. The reason for this is because Linux has many great tools that are all free for use. I was going to use Linux to do content scanning for incoming e-mails using the Exim4 mail server, spamassassin for spam checking, and ClamAV for virus checking.
However, I immediately began to run into problems after I installed VMWare Server GSX on a Windows 2000 host operating system on a 64-bit processor. The operating system would randomly shutdown and would get errors in the event log stating 'the previous shutdown was unexpected' and would list the time and date. In addition, there would also be 'the computer has rebooted from a bugcheck.'
After speaking to a professor at my university, he informed me that VMWare had some trouble with 64-bit processors. He informed me that VMWare had troubles with stability when the host OS was 32-bit and the virtual server/guest OS was 64-bit. However, this did not describe my problem as I was running 32-bit versions of both. But, he did tip me in the right direction.
It appears that the problem lies with Windows 2000 and the 64-bit processor itself. Although the dual-core processor I have supports virtualization, it was causing some kind of problem. Instead, I installed Ubuntu Linux as the host operating system and then installed Windows 2000 as the guest operating system/virtual server. I have now been running in this configuration for over a week and the system is rock-solid stable.
To do more research, I installed VMWare on my second server that runs Windows 2000 as well, but has a 32-bit AMD XP2800+ processor. There has been zero problems with this server when using Windows 2000 as the host operating system and Ubuntu Linux as the guest operating system/virtual server. This has also been running for multiple days as well with rock-solid stability.
Some of you may think "oh, it must be bad memory or a bad hard drive." Not the case. I did a full check on the SATA hard drive and ran xmemtest86 on the memory and both came up flawless with no problems.
So, after my own research, I believe that VMWare Server GSX does not work well on Windows 2000 host operating system on a 64-bit processor. It works just fine as 32-bit Ubuntu Linux as the host operating system on a 64-bit processor.