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VMware Ships Updated Workstation Product

Virtualization software publisher VMware is shipping version 5 of its Workstation product, which adds new simulation and testing features as well as support for several 64-bit operating systems.

Workstation 5 adds a new “teams” capability that lets administrators tie together groups (“teams”) of virtual machines and manage them as a single unit.

VMware Workstation 5 also enables users to take multiple point-in-time snapshots of running virtual machines and to revert to any previous snapshot with a single click. Additionally, users can designate a virtual machine as a template so that multiple users can share its base installation. Any changes to the virtual machine will be saved in a new linked clone virtual machine, reducing disk space requirements and enabling team collaboration, according to the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company.

VMware Workstation lets a user run more than one desktop operating system and its applications concurrently on the same hardware, with each system and app appearing to have the exclusive use of the underlying hardware. The product’s aim is to streamline software testing, deployment and management for systems administrators and developers.

The company began beta testing Workstation 5, the latest update to the company’s six-year-old desktop virtualization platform, in late December 2004.

Workstation 5 also supports several 64-bit host OSes, including Windows Server 2003, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and 4, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 and 9. Support for processors with 64-bit extensions also includes AMD Opteron, AMD Athlon 64 and Intel EM64T, according to the company.

VMware Workstation 5 costs $189 per machine for the downloadable version or $199 for the shrinkwrap release. Registered customers who purchased version 4.5 after Dec. 15, 2004 are eligible for a free download. Customers who purchased version 4.x prior to that date can get the downloadable release for $99. And, until June 30, 2005, customers with Workstation 3.x can also purchase the upgrade download for $99.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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