VMware lasting Workstation 5.5

This should be a NDA information, but since BetaNews and Bink leaked the news we can take a look at the new Workstation 5.5 beta program.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.