Release: VMware Workstation 6.0

Six months since first announcement, VMware finally release newest version of its most popular product: Workstation.

The new Workstation 6.0 (build 45731) introduces several new features aimed at becoming the first tool for several class of IT professionals:

  • Software developers can count on new integration with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 (Professional and Team System editions) and Eclipse 3.2 integrated development environments, so that at debug time software is automatically injected and run in a new virtual machine, and on new Record/Replay feature, able to replicate every single event happened in virtual machine’s file system and memory, allowing users to get live in any moment.
  • QA engineers can count on impressively extended virtual hardware, specially for complex networking scenarios, since every virtual machine can now expose up to 10 virtual network cards.
  • Security managers can count on integration with enterprise desktop management tool Assured Computing Environment (ACE), which exposes a remarkable set of security controls for deployed virtual machines.
  • IT administrators can count on new automation capabilities, thanks to VIX APIs adoption (already seen in VMware Server 1.x) and new headlless mode (to run virtual machines in background without a running GUI), and on new management tools, thanks to introduction of VNC remote display protocol support at host level (no need to setup Microsoft RDP or other management solutions inside each virtual machine).

But VMware released even more capabilities in this new release which are worth to check:

  • Support for new guest operating systems (Windows Vista)
  • Experimental support for para-virtualized guest operating systems (only VMware VMI 3.0 specifications)
  • Support for extended virtual CPUs (up to 2 CPUs per VM, no more experimental)
  • Support for extended virtual memory (up to 8GB RAM per VM)
  • Support for extended virtual networking (up to 10 virtual switches and up to 10 NICs per VM)
  • Support for dual-monitor host configurations
  • Support for USB 2.0 devices
  • Support for cross-platform drag & drop
  • Support for Intel VT (no more experimental)
  • Experimental support for extended VM recording capabilities (Record/Replay)
  • Support for VIX APIs (C/COM/Perl languages only)
  • Integration with VNC server
  • Integration with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and Eclipse IDEs
  • Integration of VMware Player 2.0
  • Integration of VMware Converter 3.0
  • Partial integration with VMware ACE 2.0 (capability to create and manage ACE virtual machines)

Download a trial here.

The Virtualization Industry Roadmap has been updated accordingly.

Update: New Workstation 6.0 introduces several remarkable improvements to virtual hardware and feature-set, making a little harder to decide which solution is better compared to free VMware Server 1.0.

To simplify this evaluation released a Feature Comparison. Check it here.