VMware Player used to support legacy applications, while keeping your system up to date
October 09, 2015

VMware Player used to support legacy applications, while keeping your system up to date

Jeremy Kendzierski | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Overall Satisfaction with VMware Player

VMware Player has been used in multiple applications that address software compatibility issues and operating system compliance. With VMware Player we have been able to continue the use of legacy applications running on VMs of older OSs while maintaining an up to date host OS across our network.
  • VMware Player is easy to use.
  • VMware Player supports a wide variety operating systems.
  • Unity mode makes it easy for the end user to utilize needed legacy applications while maintaining their familiar Host OS desktop. It's seamless to the point where the end user doesn't know they're running applications from a VM.
  • As intended, VMware Player is capable of running a single VM at a time and you must be logged into the host machine in order to run the guest VMs. In order to run VMs without logging in and/or to run multiple VMs simultaneously requires VMware Workstation.
  • VMware Player was a very affordable investment that allowed our organization to keep a third party business partner's application running on an old version of Internet Explorer while we continued to stay compliant on our workstations by keeping them up-to-date.
VMware Player is easier to use for administrators and end-users when compared to anything else on the market.
VMware Player is well suited for a desktop end user who needs to run applications that require very specific settings or restrictions that would effect the host OS too greatly. For example if an application requires an old version of Java or an old browser to function then VMware Player is a better place to host a guest OS with those configurations. This way the host machine can still utilize a newer browser and Java version for safety and compliance while the VM can be used for compatibility and access.

Using VMware Player

20 - Allows our customer service representatives to maintain a needed connection to a third party web-based application that requires Internet Explorer 8, while allowing our host machines to run newer versions of IE and not worry about updates effecting access. VMware Player also utilizes unity mode so that the end-user can easily use the old browser version from the VM seamlessly on their host desktop just like any other installed application.
5 - A short training on VMware Player allows you to support it, there are many online places available where you can read or watch tutorials for anything needed within the application. Even if you go at it alone without reading online tutorials of watching videos you'll be able to figure out the application relatively quickly.
  • Keeping our host systems compliant with software updates that effect access to older legacy applications.
  • Allowing access to legacy applications via the guest OS that can run older application versions.
  • Ability to secure and lock down the guest OS so that it can be used for its sole purpose, this reduces the risk of the guest OS inadvertently being used for other tasks where the host OS should be used.
  • Best use for when you need a legacy application on a user desktop that can't otherwise be compatible with the host OS.
  • Good use where you don't need the VM to be run 100% of the time.
  • Access a remote site secured over a site-to-site VPN connection, while using the old legacy browser and OS.
  • Unity mode was a great addition for our users.
  • Enabled us to lock down the guest OS to only use the applications we wanted to be used in the guest OS.
  • The next time we run into a compatibility issue on a needed application which has no alternative other than compromising our host OS security, we will then stand up a VM with the needed insecure settings and setup the needed accesses required to perform the needed job function.
I give a rating of 8 because VMware Player has its use cases, for example it requires the host OS to be logged in, and the VMware Player application to be opened and the Guest VM started. Only one VM can run at a time.

I'd give a 9/10 to VMware Workstation because you can run shared VMs at startup without logging in or starting the workstation application.

and i'd give ESX a 10/10 because ESX is the leader in enterprise visualization.

Evaluating VMware Player and Competitors

Yes - Hyper-V was replaced on the user desktop for what we were needing to accomplish. Hyper-V was free with our versions of Windows but it wasn't robust enough to effectively implement our required configuration. In the end VMware Player was worth the purchase over the free Hyper-V available within the Windows OS.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
  • Analyst Reports
  • Third-party Reviews
Previous knowledge of VMware products. Price was also a strong factor in choosing VMware Player. I knew how the product functioned and we knew that it could be used as a solution to our issue. We chose VMware Player because we only needed the VM running while the user was logged in and we only needed a single VM per user.
I most likely would use the same evaluation and selection process where we research the available software and look at what existing relationships we have with our software vendors. Then we choose the best software to implement in our environment that is within the budget. VMware Player met all the right boxes.

VMware Player Implementation

Installing the application was easily completed on the twenty computers that needed VMware Player. Once those 20 users were configured we copied our virtual machine template to the 20 users and turned on their newly provisioned virtual machines. We then configured unity mode so the user could easily work from within the virtual machine from their host desktop.
Change management was minimal - There were 20 users that needed the legacy application that was run within a virtual machine using vmware player. these 20 users were easily and quickly setup with the application and the Virtual Machine which they required to complete their jobs. Therefore there wasn't much if any change management that needed to be implemented other than watching for updates to our version of vmware player and deciding if we needed them and when.
  • we encountered no significant issues implementing VMware player.

VMware Player Support

VMware support is very knowledgeable on their products, eveything from AirWatch to ESX clusters. VMware is easy to contact, they stay in touch and see the issue through to the end and a final resolution. They keep you up to date on your issue status and don't leave you waiting for answers.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Yes - We have premium support available to us for VMware Player and our VMware ESX infrastructure. It is a great investment when the time comes and you need them to help with a business critical application of VM server that isn't operational. It's worth every penny when reducing down time and resolving the root cause of the issue. VMware support is very knowledgeable.
When we initially purchased the product and were given a great demo and explanation of the product and unity mode. The resources available to us were very helpful in getting the product launched and functional very quickly. This wasn't at any extra cost and was a great bonus from VMware.

Using VMware Player

It doesn't get any easier in the visualization world than VMware Player. It is easy to download and use for free or to purchase and use within a business. It is easy to install and configure. It is easy to provision a virtual machine and configure it's hardware. And it is easy for the end user to use.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Adding additional hardware is very easy and straightforward.
  • Passing through physical hardware from the host to the guest is also easy and useful.
  • Configuring unity mode is also a great and easy to use feature.
  • In VMware Player there isn't a native built in way to modify the network configuration, it requires the installation of an additional vmnetcfg application.