Feeds

VMware opens up Workstation 7.1 beta

More cores, fatter disks, and Fedora 12

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Server and desktop virtualization giant VMware has opened up beta testing on its latest desktop hypervisor, Workstation 7.1.

Workstation 7 was announced last October in the wake of Microsoft's Windows 7 blitz. Workstation 7 was based on a variant of the VMware hypervisor, and it can carve up a desktop PC, laptop, or workstation into virtual machines that span four virtual processors and up to 32GB per guest.

Workstation, like the old GSX Server and the Fusion hypervisor for Intel-based Apple desktops and laptops, is what is known as a type 2 or hosted hypervisor, where the hypervisor runs atop Windows or Linux and then allows multiple and different operating systems to be run side-by-side on the hypervisor. This is distinct from the ESX Server hypervisor, which runs on bare-metal and offers more isolation and security; the host operating system in a type 2 setup is a single point of failure, but then again, so is the hypervisor itself.

With Workstation 7.1, VMware is cranking the size of virtual machine guests up so they can span eight virtual processors; memory stays the same at 32GB per guest OS, however. The updated code also allows for virtual disks to be scaled up to 2TB for each VM.

While Workstation 7 supports over 200 different operating systems already, with 7.1 the hypervisor will be able to wrap lovingly around one more: the Fedora 12 Linux development release sponsored by Red Hat, which is popular with the techie crowd.

The updated hypervisor will include a number of other nips and tucks, such as hardware-accelerated OpenGL 2.1 support in the WDDM driver for Windows 7 and Windows Vista guest operating systems. VMware has run benchmarks that show some graphics applications delivering 80 per cent better performance with the new drivers and OpenGL 2.1 support. (Of course, that may be as much of an indicator of how awful virtual graphics were before as it is of how close virtualized graphics are getting to native performance.)

Workstation 7.1 also includes a tool to import and export guest virtual machines that adhere to the OVF 1.0 format, notably those created to run atop ESX Server 4.0. The update also allows for applications running inside a VM to be launched directly from the start menu or task bar of the host operating system, and Workstation 7.1 now has the ability to go online and get patches from VMware over the Internet and install them, much as operating systems have online updates.

You can take a look at the beta of Workstation 7.1 here. No word on where it will come to market. The current Workstation 7 costs $189 per PC, with upgrades from prior versions running $99. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.