VMware just released the beta2 of its most famous product: Workstation 5.0. This should be under NDA.
But VMware silently published a link on official site to download new beta 2 for everybody (you just need to register) !
So I will not infringe any NDA publishing what is expected in this new build:
New VMware Tools (updated 2004.12.15)
The new VMware Tools contain new drivers and performance enhancements to upgrade your entire Workstation experience.
Virtual Machine Teams
Workstation 5 introduces an easy way for you to configure complex multi-tier applications on your desktop by leveraging Teams. A Team is a collection of virtual machines connected by one or more private network segments. Once a Team is created, you can operate on it just like you would on a single virtual machine – you can power on/off and suspend/resume Teams with the click of a single button. View active thumbnails of all the virtual machines in a Team. Create private networks for teams, using individual LAN segments that simulate bandwidth caps and packet loss (e.g. network fault injection).
Multiple Snapshot Support (updated 2004.10.25)
Workstation 5 greatly enhances the snapshot functionality available in previous releases of the product. You can now take unlimited numbers of snapshots to capture the state of the environment at different points in time. In addition, you can restore to any previously taken snapshot with the new Snapshot Manager. When you create a new snapshot, a new branch is automatically created so that other snapshots continue to be available. With multiple snapshots, you can keep an arbitrary number of restore points for your virtual machines, allowing you to branch and explore many possibilities—all from the same virtual machine!
Clones: Full and Linked (updated 2004.10.25)
Workstation 5 allows you to clone virtual machines in two different ways – linked and full. If a virtual machine (parent) is available on shared storage, you can get up and running quickly by creating a linked clone of the virtual machine instead of copying it to your PC. Any changes made to the cloned virtual machine are then saved locally. You can now easily collaborate with team members by simply passing along just the changes saved locally instead of the entire virtual machine. Your team members can clone the parent virtual machine and copy your saved changes to their local disk to share your configuration. Linked clones make it easy to set up a single virtual machine as a template and reuse it multiple times with minor modifications, using little additional disk space for each clone. Workstation 5 also supports full clone whereby you can make a complete copy (disks, etc.) of a virtual machine from the user interface.
Support for Isochronous USB Devices
Workstation 5 offers support for Isochronous USB input devices such as web cams and microphones, and output devices such as speakers. Use your webcam or work with multi-track audio—within a guest operating system!
Support for 64-bit Hosts
Workstation 5 improves the experimental support offered in version 4, supporting 64-bit host hardware including the AMD Opteron, Athlon 64 and Intel IA-32e. Workstation also supports new 64-bit host operating systems, including SUSE 9.1, and Windows XP 64-bit edition (experimental support), and Windows Server 2003 64-bit edition (experimental support).
Performance Enhancements (updated 2004.10.25)
We’re constantly improving performance. Workstation 5 reduces guest operating system memory footprint, while enhancing audio, increasing network bandwidth, optimizing disk and memory cache, and much more.
– Snapshot and suspend resume have enhanced performance, and are now background operations whenever possible.
– Enhanced networking performance – Workstation 5 offers enhanced networking performance by leveraging our custom network driver. Once you install the updated VMware Tools, the necessary network drivers install seamlessly to offer improved network performance.
– Better memory utilization when running multiple virtual machines concurrently – Workstation 5 includes significant improvements in memory utilization when multiple virtual machines are used concurrently. This allows you to efficiently run multiple virtual machines with much less total memory.
– Shared folders and Sound features are improved in Workstation 5.
We want you to have the best experience possible, whether you run multiple virtual machines or only one at a time.
Enhanced Guest OS Support (updated 2004.10.25)
– Java Desktop System — support now included in VMware Workstation.
– Mandrake 10
– Experimental support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 beta
– Experimental support for SUSE 9.2
New Linux Features (updated 2004.10.25)
– Workstation 5 offers a gtk2-based user interface on Linux, which provides an improved look and feel, and enhanced usability
– Workstation 5 streamlines VMware Tools installation for Linux virtual machines by allowing you to install VMware Tools without exiting the X session.
– Now you have a choice how to install VMware Tools on Linux guests: use the new rpm installer, or the traditional tar installer.
VMware V2V Assistant
Now you can convert a virtual machine created in Microsoft® VirtualPC™ or VirtualServer™ for use with Workstation 5! The V2V Assistant—a separately-downloadable Windows application—creates a VMware virtual machine without changing your VirtualPC virtual machine.
Windows Upgrade Installs
On Windows hosts, you can automatically install a new release over an existing Workstation release. The installer automatically uninstalls the previous version before installing the new version.
Workstation 5 now offers you the ability to record all activity in a virtual machine and save it in an .avi format. The resulting .avi file can then be replayed on any Windows PC running our playback codec. The codec is installed automatically with Workstation 5, and you can also download a stand-alone installer from the VMware website.
Movie capture has many uses, such as giving you the ability to record steps to reproduce defects in a particular configuration, or to record configuration steps prior to running an application, etc. (Note this release does not include recording audio with movies.)
NX Bit Support
Workstation 5 offers guest operating system support for the “no execute” NX page table protection bit, also called Execute Disable Bit (EDB) technology. Aimed at thwarting malicious buffer overruns, NX/EDB allows properly-written applications to designate memory space as executable, preventing execution of any code trying to access other memory space.
Command Line Utility for Teams
Use the new vmrun command line utility for automating team operations.
Experimental Support for Guest ACPI S1 Sleep
Workstation 5 VMware Tools provide experimental support for guest operating systems that enable ACPI S1 sleep. (This feature requires you to have the latest VMware Tools installed.)