Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
In the early days of desktop virtualization, there were few low-priced alternatives to VMware Workstation that didn't involve a steep learning curve. Even the freely available VirtualBox didn't affect Workstation's market domination and instead faced competition from the newly rebranded VMware GSX server, which was offered for free as VMware Server. Despite being an entry-level server virtualization product, many people used VMware Server on the desktop. Taking that into consideration, you have to look at the recently released VMware Server 2, from two angles -- as an entry-level server virtualization platform and as an alternative to desktop virtualization products like VirtualBox. With its performance and other improvements, it does enough to keep existing customers happy, but probably not enough to get others to switch.
Compared to its predecessor, Server 2.0 offers quite a few enhancements. You can now create more scalable virtual machines that support USB 2.0 devices, can use up to 8GB of virtual RAM, and have 10 virtual network cards, as well as SCSI disks. You can also install Server 2 on 64-bit Linux hosts to run 64-bit Linux and Windows guests.
If you are using VMware Server in a networked multi-user environment, you can't help but admire its highly configurable access and configuration parameters. It lets you fine-tune the access to all areas of VMware Server for all users.