A few days ago VMware released a brand new version of their desktop virtualization product, Workstation 9.0. This release brings a lot of new features, but the biggest one is full support for Windows 8 and multi-touch. You can check out the full release notes here. Its great to see nested virtualization support, so you can run ESXi inside of Workstation 9 and power-on 64-bit VMs inside the nested ESXi instance. Great for home labs that don’t have the budget for dedicated physical ESXi servers. It’s also funny that Hyper-V is now an OS choice to run inside of Workstation…..wonder what Microsoft thinks of that?
- Windows 8 Support– Easy install simplifies the task of creating virtual machines for Windows 8 that can run simultaneously with a variety of legacy operating systems. Unity mode intelligently works with Windows 8 applications, and multi-touch support ensures a true Windows 8 experience.
- More Powerful Virtual Machines – Faster startup performance, USB 3.0 support for Windows 8 virtual machines, Intel™ Ivy Bridge compatibility, more powerful virtualization extensions, virtual performance counters, support for OpenGL 2.1 on Linux and improved 3D graphics performance make running highly demanding applications simple and efficient.
- Increased Mobility – A new Web interface allows access to virtual machines running in Workstation or on VMware vSphere® from tablets, smart phones, laptops or desktop PCs. This high performance, Web-based interface delivers a native desktop experience and does not require flash or browser-based plug-ins.
- Restricted Virtual Machines – IT administrators and instructors can create virtual machines and configure them to prevent employees or students from dragging and dropping files between virtual and physical desktops, attaching devices, or tampering with the virtual machine settings. Once restrictions are configured, the virtual machines can be encrypted and distributed to run on Mac, Windows, or Linux PCs with VMware Fusion® 5 Professional, Workstation 9, or VMware Player™ 5.
- USB 3.0 – Workstation 9 supports attaching USB 3.0 devices to Windows 8 virtual machines. The latest portable devices use USB 3 (SuperSpeed) to achieve faster transfer rates for data. USB 3.0 devices such as portable storage devices and video equipment can be connected directly to Windows 8 and Linux virtual machines that contain in-box drivers USB 3.0 controllers.
Nested Virtualization – Workstation 9 improves the implementation of virtual Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI extensions. This allows users to run ESX as a guest OS and run a 64-bit operating system nested in ESX using less system resources.
Hyper-V – Hyper-V has been added to the Workstation 9 guest operating system list. This enables customers to run Windows 8 with Hyper-V enabled, or install Hyper-V Server. This can be used for educational purposes or for building prototype Hybrid Clouds. This feature is NOT SUPPORTED and probably never will be.
Plus there are a lot more features you can check out in the release notes. vExperts should get a free license key, so check out the vExpert private forum for more details.