Mentor Graphics PCB products should work on virtual systems (typically implemented using VMware, ESX Server, or other virtualization technology). Virtual systems are used extensively in our Quality Assurance process and very few problems specific to virtual systems have been encountered. However, Mentor Graphics has not performed a comprehensive test cycle on virtual systems nor have we analyzed the unique characteristics of virtual machines and how they impact our applications. We expect there will be limitations with this technology though we cannot fully predict all issues our customers will encounter. Issues known to exist at this time include:
- High performance interactive graphics, such as the interactive editing environment of Expedition PCB or the OpenGL based environment of the Expedition 3D Viewer, may not perform as well as physical hardware.
- Any products requiring high network or disk throughput, such as DMS servers, may not perform as well as physical hardware.
- Interactive applications may have minor graphics display issues because of the graphical abstraction layer.
Use of virtual systems is not recommended in any situation where the limitations listed above are key considerations.
Most of the issues encountered with virtual systems are related to the performance. Virtual systems are built on abstraction layers that put an additional level of processing between the application and the underlying hardware, making optimization of the application performance for that hardware difficult or impossible. Virtual systems are designed more for convenience of administration than for high performance, and therefore should not be used in situations where performance and/or direct interface to the underlying hardware is critical to the successful execution of the application. Any performance-related issues encountered on virtual systems should be verified to also exist on non-virtual systems before being raised with the Mentor Graphics Customer Support organization.
Mentor Graphics will make a reasonable effort to support PCB products running on virtual systems. This means that our application engineers will perform due diligence to assist our customers when problems arise. If no solution or workaround is found and the problem does not occur when using physical hardware, Mentor Graphics will advise the customer to follow up with their virtualization software vendor.