VMware Workstation 5 Beta…..packed with new features and functionality
VMware has announced the availability of VMware Workstation 5 Beta, the latest generation of VMware’s desktop application for software developers/testers and IT professionals. VMware Workstation allows users to run multiple operating systems and their applications simultaneously on a single PC in fully networked, portable virtual machines – no rebooting or hard drive partitioning required. We have taken an exceptional product and improved it with new features and functionality that increase both individual productivity and team collaboration. Now we want to know what you think of it! As a beta tester, you can provide us with real-world testing and product feedback that will ensure the final release provides the functionality and quality that you expect from VMware Workstation. New Feature SummaryKey new features in VMware Workstation 5: ·New Teams functionality makes it easier to create and manage connected virtual machines and simulate "real world" multi-tier configurations ·Multiple snapshot and snapshot management capabilities makes it easier to capture and manage multiple configurations ·New cloning functionality makes it easier to copy virtual machines and share them with colleagues (full and linked clones) ·Movie record and playback feature for capturing activity in a virtual machine ·Improved performance, especially for multi-VM and networking workloads, for suspend/resume and snapshot operations, and for shared folders and sound features ·New and improved Linux user interface ·New guest OS, host OS, and hardware support – 32 and 64 bit ·Support for a new class of USB devices, including webcams, microphones, and speakers ·Command line interface enables the automation of certain manual steps New Feature Detail VM Teams Teams functionality provides a better way to create and manage multi-tier configurations. A user can designate as a Team a collection of virtual machines and the network segments that connect them. Users can then specify "real world" network characteristics between the virtual machines in a Team, including network bandwidth and percentage of packet loss. Also, once a Team is created, users can perform power operations, such as power on/off and suspend/resume, on the Team. A console view displays active thumbnails of all the virtual machines in a Team and allows users to easily change which virtual machine appears in the main console. Multiple snapshots Workstation 5 greatly enhances the snapshot functionality available in previous releases of the product by allowing the user to take an unlimited number of point-in-time, saved-to-disk snapshots of running virtual machines. This makes it easier to capture and switch between multiple configurations and accelerates testing and debugging. The new Snapshot Manager interface displays thumbnails of all the snapshots on a single screen and makes it easy for users to track all their snapshots and revert to a previously saved snapshot. Also, when reverting to a previously saved snapshot, a new branch is automatically created so other snapshots continue to be available. Linked and full clones Allows users to clone virtual machines in two different ways – linked and full – to facilitate collaborative testing and debugging, get users up and running quickly with virtual machines, and to simplify the process of making a complete copy of a virtual machine. If a virtual machine is available on shared storage (the parent virtual machine), users create a linked clone on their local machine that has a read-only reference back to the parent virtual machine. Any changes made to the parent virtual machine are saved locally in a file that is much smaller in relation to the parent virtual machine. Users can then easily collaborate with team members who also have network access to the parent virtual machine by sharing just the change files saved on their local machine – the linked clone – instead of an entire virtual machine. Team members can then start up the linked clone they received and link it back to the original parent virtual machine to share the same configuration as their colleague. Linked clones thus make it easy to set up a library of read-only virtual machine as templates on a shared drive that can be accessed and shared by multiple users, while using little additional disk space on local machines for each linked clone. Workstation 5 also lets users easily create a full clone, or a complete copy (OS, applications, disks, etc.) of a virtual machine. Movie record and playback Workstation 5 offers the ability to record all activity in a virtual machine and save it in an .AVI format. The resulting .AVI file can be re-played on any other PC running Workstation 5 or equipped with an .AVI player, thereby facilitating team collaboration. This feature gives the user the ability to record activity that might otherwise be difficult to describe, such as the steps required to reproduce defects in a particular configuration or to configure a complex application, and share the recording with others. Improved performance·Multi-VM performance: Workstation 5 includes significant improvements in memory utilization when multiple virtual machines are used concurrently. This allows users to efficiently run multiple virtual machines with much less total memory. ·Improved networking performance: Workstation 5 offers enhanced networking performance by leveraging VMware’s custom network driver. Once a user installs the updated VMware Tools, the necessary network drivers install seamlessly to offer significantly improved network performance. ·Improved and faster suspend/resume and snapshot operations: Workstation 5 performs significantly faster suspend/resume and snapshot operations, enabling users to spend more time testing and less time waiting for power operations to execute. New and improved Linux user interface Workstation 5 offers a new gtk-2 based user interface on Linux, which provides an improved look and feel, and enhanced usability. New guest OS support Guest OS support for Windows Server 2000 Small Business, SUSE Linux Pro 9.2, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0, Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 3.0, Mandrake Linux 10, Sun’s Java Desktop System, Windows Server 2003 SP1 beta (experimental support), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 beta (experimental support), and other various service pack updates and kernel updates. New host OS support Host OS support for SUSE Linux Pro 9.2, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0, Mandrake Linux 10, Windows Server 2003 SP1 beta (experimental support), and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 beta (experimental support). Improved 64-bit host hardware and OS support·Hardware: AMD Opteron, AMD Athlon 64, and Intel EM64T. ·64-bit OSes: SUSE 9.1 and 9.2, Windows XP (experimental support), Windows Server 2003 (experimental support), and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 (experimental support). Isochronous USB support Workstation 5 offers support for Isochronous USB input devices such as web cams and microphones, and output devices such as speakers. Users can now use their webcam or work with multi-track audio, all within a guest OS. Command line interface Workstation 5 offers a new command line interface (CLI), which enables users to create scripts to automate certain manual steps. For a list of supported commands, type ‘vmrun’ at a command prompt. Support for NX bit Workstation 5 now supports the "no execute" instruction bit for guest operating systems that can leverage it. Aimed at thwarting malicious buffer overruns, NX allows properly written applications to designate memory space as executable, so that any code trying to access other memory space is not executed. Upgrade and VM Tools Installation improvements With Workstation 5, users can automatically install a new release over an existing Workstation release on their PC. The installer automatically uninstalls the previous version before installing the new version. This feature is for Windows installation only. Workstation 5 also streamlines VMware Tools installation for Linux virtual machines by allowing users to install VMware Tools without exiting the X session. VMware V2V Assistant This standalone utility allows users to convert a Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Virtual Server virtual machine into a VMware Workstation 5 virtual machine (the original Virtual PC virtual machine is left untouched).
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