In this release every new feature is a key features:
- Full support for 64-bit host and guest OSes
Will be finally possible to run a mixed 32 and 64 bit virtual environment on a single 64 bit physical server
(a check will prevent you from running a 64 bit guest OS inside a 32 bit host OS)
- Experimental support for 2-way Virtual SMP
Now every end user could run 2 CPUs VMs without engaging the mainstream ESX Server product. And the greatest thing is that even a single processor machine (if powered by Intel HyperThreading) will be able to use VSMP
(not clear if this would be available on AMD dual core CPUs also)
- Convertless support for Microsoft products VMs
Even if it’s still possible to convert VMs coming from Microsoft Virtual Server / Virtual PC, now you can run them as they are
(changes to VMs are written in a VMware format file)
Workstation 5.5 is now in beta 2 phase and should released soon with another cool feature not mentioned here.
Three comments about this:
- VMware is working hard transforming this product in the developer must-have tool (multi-snapshots, clones and now Virtual SMP are real examples). After this release I hardly believe any software engineer would work without an IDE and VMware Workstation.
- VMware Workstation is gaining powerful features every release and actually just web interface and extended memory support divides it from GSX Server. The new expected GSX 4.0 should bring a lot of new features to remain interesting for customers (already developing and testing with Workstation and producing with ESX).
- Microsoft is now really far from VMware. If nothing happens at Redmond better focus on the upcoming hypervisor, cause there are few chances to win the battle of non-paravirtualization products.