Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Techie question - VMWare

We use VMware to build virtual machines for our sales demos. It’s a great solution — we can bundle entire demo environments on a single DVD (the environment includes the OS, the database, the applications, etc.) and get them out to sales people.

But there’s one flaw in the system: the environments all have the same machine name. When you try and boot up the environment, if you’re connected to our network, you get an error that a machine with that name is already connected. In order to successfully boot up the virtual machine, you have to first disconnect from the network, login to the virtual machine, then reconnect to the network.

Is anyone aware of a way to either (a) avoid the duplicate machine name check in Windows, or (b) mask the machine name in such a way as to have it pass the dupe check?

(In case you’re wondering, yes, as I understand it, we need the virtual machines to be attached to our domain — something to do with the installation of Exchange in the virtual machine environment.)


  1. I don't know enough about VMWare to answer your question, but I have used it and I'm sure each virtual machine can be configured not only with a unique name but unique IP and even MAC address. It is designed to truly make each machine look like a different machine. I've got to think a quick call to their support would get you setup...

  2. John - Unfortunately, uniquely identifying each machine defeats the purpose of having a "standard" machine to distribute to the sales team. I've been back and forth with support on this, and they basically acknowledge that it's an issue and one they don't have a good answer for.

    Since I'm using the product in a pretty standard fashion, I'm just frustrated to have to put up with such aggravations. But from what I've gathered, I'm pretty much stuck.