Today, VMware released the latest version of their VMware Workstation product – version 9. VMware Workstation was the first VMware product that I used (some 13 years ago) and has continued to be a product I rely on to do my work. I’ve been using the Technology Preview versions of Workstation 9 for months and am impressed with its speed, stability, and features. Using VMware Workstation Tech Preview 9 on my laptop, I run a full VMware View environment, complete with firewall, load balancer, OpenFiler storage appliance, vCenter, a couple nested vSphere 5 ESXi servers, View Composer and View Connection server; as well as a few other VM’s for ThinApp packaging, Orchestrator, and Windows 8. Workstation has allowed me to have a fairly complex networking configuration, with storage, network, management, and guest networks all isolated.
The new version of workstation adds the following new features:
- Windows 8 Support (I got a Windows 8 VM up and running using Workstation’s Easy Install feature in less than 5 minutes)
- Web-based interface that allows access to running VM’s from any web browser. This opens up some options for co-op training, demos, etc.
- Restricted Virtual Machines – Create a runtime password and an administrative password to control who can run and modify settings on a VM.
- Drop & Drag VM’s to and from VMware vSphere. Think of this as your own little hybrid cloud connector. Develop images on Workstation, ship them to vSphere when ready for production.
- Enhanced 3D Graphics to support Windows Metro, and other graphically intensive apps like AutoCAD.
- USB 3.0 Support for attaching USB devices to virtual machines.
- Nested Virtualization, making better use of Intel VT-x/EPT and AMD-V/RVI to support 64-bit guest OS’s in nested ESXi VM’s.
- Hyper-V is supported as a guest operating system (with nested VM’s)
- Disk Cleanup to reclaim wasted disk space (important if you are running short of SSD space like I am).
Check out the release notes for more info: https://www.vmware.com/support/ws90/doc/workstation-90-release-notes.html
VMware also released VMware Fusion 5 for you Mac OSX users. See here for more info: http://www.vmware.com/products/desktop_virtualization/fusion/professional.html. Fusion 5 includes a new ‘Professional’ business edition that includes some pretty cool options for pushing Windows VM’s out to all your Fusion enabled Mac users. This helps to ensure a consistent user experience and up-to-date Windows image for your multi-platform end users.
The upgrades to Workstation 9 and Fusion 5 are definitely worth the money! Buy the upgrade here, or reach out to me at Clearpath if you need to place a bulk order or renew your Support and Subscription (SNS) on existing VMware Workstation or VMware Fusion licenses for your business.