In the past, creating a testbed environment for your server often involved setting aside an old machine or even using a desktop or laptop computer. In most cases, it was difficult to mimic the exact hardware configuration of your server and not as efficient. Virtualization changed all of that, and VMware Player is one free option you can use for server testing.
Before beginning, you will need to download and install VMware Player and download the ISO of the operating system you intend to use or insert the installation disk. In this example, we will use OpenSUSE.
To get started with a VMware Player virtual machine, do the following:
1. Click “Create a New Virtual Machine”
2. Select “Use ISO image” (for OpenSUSE, VMware Player will use the Easy Install method)
3. Enter user and password information
4. Assign a name to the virtual machine
5. Select physical location on your system where you want the machine stored
6. Specify the disk size (in gigabytes) and whether to use a single file or multiple files for the virtual machine
7. Review the settings and click “Finish”
Your virtual machine will start booting. If you have an install disk, it will go through the normal install process. A Live CD will simply boot. With Easy Install, the installation process will be automated.
In Part 2, we will look at some of the things you can do with your new virtual machine.