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View Full Version : Very impressed with new Air and VMware Fusion




monkeybagel
Nov 23, 2011, 04:13 AM
I just wanted to say that I am very impressed with my new 2011 13" i5 256GB Air that I recently purchased. I do a mix of Windows administration as well as OS X use. For the Windows administration, I use VMware Fusion - mainly because of the stability and I support other VMware ESXi servers. The interesting thing is that with the SSD and the RAM in the Air, I can successfully run VMs with unreasonably low amounts of RAM. For example, my administration console is running Windows Server 2003 in a VM, and VMware allocates it 384MB of RAM. I didn't think this would be enough at first, thinking maybe 1-2GB, but I went with it anyway. I also installed Microsoft Office 2010 in that VM as I depend on that as well. After installing the VMware vSphere Client and a few more applications I use in Windows, I still did not see a performance hit in the VM. Microsoft Outlook 2010 is running against an Exchange Server 2010 server, and I have a rather large mailbox in there. Launching any of the applications in the VM are very quick, and there is no obvious slowdowns or paging going on. Not to mention it leaves plenty of resources for OS X when needed as well. The battery life still is around 7 hours with the VMware running.

Just wanted to throw that out there for people interested in VMs and running them on the Air - the SSD and processing power of the Air make it a seamless experience. For the record, I am running Fusion 3 instead of the newly released 4, and 3 runs on Lion just fine.

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Also, I should add, that I am very happy with Lion on this machine as well. . The boot speed is excellent as is working in the OS. Very happy and love the full screen Terminal and other apps that I can swipe back and forth to.

I did install Snow Leopard on the Air because I like to tinker and to see how it would run. I got it to install and updated it to 10.6.8 but the performance was worse than Lion because video acceleration did not work. Also, it would not recognize the trackpad natively either (in System Preferences it said to connect a Bluetooth trackpad). It was fun to try, no less. Wireless worked, I had the correct screen resolution, audio worked, but it was not good for day-to-day use (I left it on less than a day).

It seems like this Air was built for Lion, and the performance shows. I also don't have any of the wireless connection issues when resuming from sleep that others have reported.



jsolares
Nov 24, 2011, 09:02 PM
Yeah it's great, i'm able to run my windows development VM and a linux one as well at the same time

wrinkster22
Nov 24, 2011, 09:04 PM
Yeah, I have the same model (with i7) and it is great, glad u are enjoying it.

monkeybagel
Nov 25, 2011, 05:36 AM
Just ordered VMware Fusion 4 from Amazon for $27.99 with free shipping. Could not pass that up and it will give me a license for another Macintosh.

newdeal
Nov 25, 2011, 07:59 AM
I prefer parallels but both are great. If you decide you want to try parallels some day they have a reduced price if you are coming from fusion. You do need to give them a key from your fusion for them to confirm (although there are keygens that can do it if you don't want to give them your key)

sporadicMotion
Nov 26, 2011, 02:50 PM
Yup! I'm building a demo VMServer environment comprised of 3 linux VM's for work. It's surprising how much grunt the ULV i5's have.

I do enjoy the Air... now if only Apple made decent server software (this is why I'm stuck building a linux server on the weekend)

gabicava83
Mar 20, 2012, 10:06 AM
Yup! I'm building a demo VMServer environment comprised of 3 linux VM's for work. It's surprising how much grunt the ULV i5's have.

I do enjoy the Air... now if only Apple made decent server software (this is why I'm stuck building a linux server on the weekend)

How did you get on with building this?

I currently use a MBP with 8GB and an SSD, run's well with several VM's, it's a core 2 duo 2.2 though.

Thanks,

G

gentlefury
Mar 20, 2012, 10:11 AM
I've been very impressed with everything about the new air!

umiwangu
Mar 20, 2012, 01:30 PM
I just wanted to say that I am very impressed with my new 2011 13" i5 256GB Air that I recently purchased. I do a mix of Windows administration as well as OS X use. For the Windows administration, I use VMware Fusion - mainly because of the stability and I support other VMware ESXi servers. The interesting thing is that with the SSD and the RAM in the Air, I can successfully run VMs with unreasonably low amounts of RAM. For example, my administration console is running Windows Server 2003 in a VM, and VMware allocates it 384MB of RAM. I didn't think this would be enough at first, thinking maybe 1-2GB, but I went with it anyway. I also installed Microsoft Office 2010 in that VM as I depend on that as well. After installing the VMware vSphere Client and a few more applications I use in Windows, I still did not see a performance hit in the VM. Microsoft Outlook 2010 is running against an Exchange Server 2010 server, and I have a rather large mailbox in there. Launching any of the applications in the VM are very quick, and there is no obvious slowdowns or paging going on. Not to mention it leaves plenty of resources for OS X when needed as well. The battery life still is around 7 hours with the VMware running.

Just wanted to throw that out there for people interested in VMs and running them on the Air - the SSD and processing power of the Air make it a seamless experience. For the record, I am running Fusion 3 instead of the newly released 4, and 3 runs on Lion just fine.


Thanks for the review! I've been thinking about how to speed up my early 2011 MBP. I usually have at least one virtual machine running (W2K) on VMWare, sometimes two or three, and it really slows things to a crawl. I've been going back and forth between getting an SSD or more RAM. I think the SSD will probably be the best in terms of enhancing performance.

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Just ordered VMware Fusion 4 from Amazon for $27.99 with free shipping. Could not pass that up and it will give me a license for another Macintosh.

How did you manage that price?

antonis
Mar 20, 2012, 02:08 PM
I'm using MBA 2011 13" model with Parallels for work and indeed it runs great. VMware 4 was running great too, when I tried it. Virtual machines with SSD can truly run with less ram, since the swapping is done on the lighting fast ssd disk, so you can tell no real difference.

Even the server s/w installations (like databases or application servers) are done faster on the virtual machines running on MBA's SSD, in comparison to the real servers with normal disks.

And I have the same impression with the OP, Lion seems to be built with MBA in mind. It looks like the MBA and Lion are developed side by side.

cfgulden
Mar 22, 2012, 06:05 PM
Hi I have an MB Air running Fusion 4, Windows 7 and outlook 2010, has anyone been able to access public folders off the exchange server (exchange 2007), thanks!

kylera
Mar 22, 2012, 07:32 PM
Just ordered VMware Fusion 4 from Amazon for $27.99 with free shipping. Could not pass that up and it will give me a license for another Macintosh.

First off, great price. However, the EULA in Ver. 4 gives you permission to use one license to install on multiple Macs you own.

sporadicMotion
Mar 30, 2012, 10:39 PM
How did you get on with building this?

I currently use a MBP with 8GB and an SSD, run's well with several VM's, it's a core 2 duo 2.2 though.

Thanks,

G

It worked great. I have since built an ESXi lab machine for these tasks :P

gabicava83
Mar 31, 2012, 09:04 PM
It worked great. I have since built an ESXi lab machine for these tasks :P

ah, awesome. It's somewhat upsetting that you cannot upgrade the RAM, but totally understand the reasons why.

What lab do you have, what's the spec?

Thanks,

G.

Redbull916
Apr 1, 2012, 12:27 AM
I'm sunning fusion 4 on my i7 13". Apart from learning the mac keyboard layout, is better then my original Dell 830. Faster, smoother, I even occasionally run a vm machine from inside my vm machine! and its still good. All my mapped drives work fine & my VPN clients work well.
I work for a software company and most business customers are now using VMware, its the industry standard.

TimmyR
Apr 29, 2013, 07:36 PM
I am considering a MacBook Air for work since I travel frequently. I am dependent on using Excel and Powerpoint for work projects and Powerpoint formatting needs to transfer to the Windows versions.

How does Air handle VMWare & Office? Do you think I should just stick with Office for Mac '11? How does Air handle Office for Mac '11? I am planning on the 13-inch Macbook Air and upgrading the processor, RAM and memory.

Thanks!

Steve121178
Apr 30, 2013, 04:19 AM
I am considering a MacBook Air for work since I travel frequently. I am dependent on using Excel and Powerpoint for work projects and Powerpoint formatting needs to transfer to the Windows versions.

How does Air handle VMWare & Office? Do you think I should just stick with Office for Mac '11? How does Air handle Office for Mac '11? I am planning on the 13-inch Macbook Air and upgrading the processor, RAM and memory.

Thanks!

Office 2011 for Mac is ok and it does the job. It's just that Office 2007/2010/2013 is a vastly superior product so Office 2011 always feels an inferior poor relation compared to the PC versions.

Microsoft will be releasing a new Mac version in 2014 so hopefully it will have a similar look & feel to Office 2013!

TC25
Apr 30, 2013, 06:30 AM
I am considering a MacBook Air for work since I travel frequently. I am dependent on using Excel and Powerpoint for work projects and Powerpoint formatting needs to transfer to the Windows versions.

How does Air handle VMWare & Office? Do you think I should just stick with Office for Mac '11? How does Air handle Office for Mac '11? I am planning on the 13-inch Macbook Air and upgrading the processor, RAM and memory.

I would not install VMWare/Parallels just to run the Windows versions of the Office products. The Mac versions are more than adequate.

Bear
Apr 30, 2013, 09:00 AM
I am considering a MacBook Air for work since I travel frequently. I am dependent on using Excel and Powerpoint for work projects and Powerpoint formatting needs to transfer to the Windows versions.

How does Air handle VMWare & Office? Do you think I should just stick with Office for Mac '11? How does Air handle Office for Mac '11? I am planning on the 13-inch Macbook Air and upgrading the processor, RAM and memory.

Thanks!The Air will handle Office for 2011 just fine.

The real question is: Are you using features that may behave differently on Mac and Windows versions of Office? And will you be looking at the docs on the Windows version before handing it to someone else?

I would not install VMWare/Parallels just to run the Windows versions of the Office products. The Mac versions are more than adequate.Unless you need to give it to Windows users, then you can get some formatting oddities.

frostbit3
Apr 30, 2013, 03:58 PM
Not trying to thread jack, but I am in a very similar boat. I have the Air 2012 13 inch with VMWare Fusion. Has anyone had any issues with the shift button being delayed in the Windows VM's? I use a LOT of powershell via VMWare Fusion and the shift delay really kills me. I've done some research and attempted to remove all key mappings to no success.

So far though other than the shift key delay, VMWare Fusion is running great with a Windows 7 VM. Also running Lync native for Mac, as well as Office 2011 for Mac with no issues.

vastoholic
May 1, 2013, 01:06 AM
I have the 11" MBA i5 and run fusion 5 in unity mode purely for Dev C++ for my college courses. It's pretty light use for a VM but I haven't had any problems so far. I'm loving it.