Virtual machines automatic startup with VMware Workstation
If you need to start your virtual machines automatically, but you want to use VMware Workstation instead of Hyper-V or VMware ESXi, you can do it easily.
By using “share” feature on your existing virtual machines, or by creating a new one in folder “Shared VMs”, you will be able to use option to automatically start virtual machines when host computer starts. That way you can have small office server virtualized infrastructure based on VMware Workstation software.
A shared virtual machine can be accessed remotely by other instances of Workstation 8.x and later. Working remotely, you can create a new shared virtual machine, convert a standard virtual machine, or create a shared virtual machine clone of a standard virtual machine to the Server where the VMware Host Agent service manages them.
Yes, you can have that by using Hyper-V with Windows 8, but VMware Workstation is really cheap, and it provides us with much more features and flexibility in comparison with Hyper-V.
With VMware Workstation you have more advanced “Virtual switch/router” (DHCP, NAT) feature. Also, VMware Workstation handles RAM much more efficient, so if you have host computer with insufficient ram, you can easily compensate that with cheap SSD drive. VMware Workstation is not native hypervisor, but it performs very well on top of the existing operating system, so this should not be an issue.
1. To enable start virtual machine with host computer, you need to “right click” on existing virtual machine and select “manage>share” option
2. After that, you will be presented with “Share VM Wizard“, so just click “Next“.
3. On this dialog, you can chose whether you just want to enable “shared” for existing virtual machine, or you want to create a clone of existing machine to run as shared virtual machine. “Move the virtual machine” will move all existing data files of selected virtual machine to predefined “Shared Virtual Machines” folder.
4. VMware Workstation will process your request, and when finished, selected virtual machine will appear in “Shared VMs” folder.
5. After selecting “Shared VMs” folder in Library column, you will need to click on “Manage AutoStart VMs” and select virtual machines which will start with host computer. Also, if you start multiple virtual machine, you should define delayed start between each virtual machine, to reduce impact on hosts disk and CPU resources.