VMware introduced two new products this week, one is VMware Fusion 5 and the other is VMware Workstation 9. Both products add some great new features but the most interesting is a new flavor of VMware Fusion in the form of VMware Fusion 5 Professional. As expected, a new addition to either variety of VMware Fusion 5 is Mountain Lion Support. Also as expected Windows 8 is supported in both flavors of VMware Fusion 5 and also VMware Workstation 9.
VMware Fusion 5
The Mountain Lion support for VMware Fusion 5 extends not only to host support but also guest support. This is a nice addition and I’m planning to do some tests with the newly-named OS X Server that pairs with Mountain Lion as a result.
Other changes such as Retina Display Support and USB 3 Connectivity are nice additions as is Improved Support for Large Memory Macs that VMware bills as better use of memory on Macs equipped with 16GB or more. Also on the performance front, VMware is touting Near-Native Performance and Long Life to Your Battery. According to the graphs VMware Fusion 5 is 1.45x better at power management than VMware Fusion 4.
Faster 3D Graphics comes in the form of support for OpenGL 2.1 and DirectX 9.0c Shader Model 3 graphics. This is intended for applications such as AutoCAD 2012. On the graphics front, a new enhanced driver for Linux has been submitted to X.Org which allows for full 3D desktops in a few Linux distros, notably Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
VMware Fusion 5 Professional
VMware Fusion 5 Professional adds some additional features particularly useful to business and professional users. In a great addition, you can now deploy a Virtual Machine to a Mac, Windows, or Linux system using VMware Player. There are also new Mass Deployment features including volume licensing.
The new features intended for professional users are a new Network Editor which allows you to modify and create virtual networks for testing purposes. This is an absolutely wonderful addition that should have been here a long time ago! OVF Import, Virtualized VT-X/EPT, and VIX (Perl and Apple Script scripting support) round out the features and make VMware Fusion 5 Professional an essential upgrade for me.
VMware Workstation 9
VMware Workstation 9 builds on the VMware Workstation 8 upgrade and adds Best in Class Windows 8 Support. The same great new better 3D graphics support in VMware Fusion 5 also comes to VMware Workstation 9 which allows application like AutoCAD 2012 to run.
New support for accessing virtual machines over a web interface is also included that appears to work with any HTML5 web browser that support WebSockets. Similar to VMware Fusion 5 Professional, VMware Workstation 9 adds the same Nested VT-X/EPT support.
Another important new addition for a professional like myself is the ability to both upload and download from your workstation to vSphere. The ability to upload a virtual machine was already added in VMware Workstation 8 but there was no ability to download until now.
I’m looking forward to getting the VMware Fusion 5 Professional upgrade and also purchasing a copy VMware Workstation 9. VMware Fusion 5 is available for $49.99 and VMware Fusion 5 Professional is available new for $99.99 and as an upgrade for $49.99. VMware Workstation 9 is available new for $249.00 and as an upgrade for $119.00.