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What are the different uses for a VMware Type 2 hypervisor?

In addition to server virtualization software, VMware also offers three Type 2 hypervisors that eliminate the necessity for additional hardware while satisfying different technical or administrative needs.

VMware develops and sells three major products that fall into the Type 2 hypervisor category: Workstation, Player...

and Fusion. While each is considered a Type 2 hypervisor, the purpose and features for each are different.

Workstation 10 -- with version 11 slated for a December release -- allows IT professionals to create and manage VMs on their endpoint workstation, PC or laptop. Workstation requires a 64-bit x86 processor, at least 4 GB of memory and more than 1 GB of storage space. It can be installed on most Windows 7 or 8, Windows Server 2008 or 2012, and various versions of Linux, including RHEL 5 and later or SUSE Linux 10 and later. Once installed, Workstation can create VM environments that support a wide variety of guest operating systems and applications.

As one popular example, Workstation allows a software developer to create a Linux VM on a Windows development computer. In virtualization, the developer can test and refine applications in a native environment, tailoring the computing resources provisioned to each VM, without the need for additional dedicated test computers. Instances can also be encrypted and set to expire at a pre-determined time, preventing VM sprawl and wasted computing power. Workstation supports complex VMs -- as long as the underlying system provides adequate computing resources -- and can interact with public cloud deployments through vCloud Air.

Player 6 Plus -- with version 7 Pro planned for a December release -- is essentially a "lite" version of Workstation, allowing users to create and run VMs, or launch pre-configured virtual appliances, without the degree of granularity found in Workstation. Player also foregoes some of the advanced features in Workstation, such as snapshots, cloning, sharing and so on. Player requires a 64-bit x86 processor, 4 GB of memory, 300 MB of disk space, and works in many current versions of Windows, Windows Server and Linux. Player 6 is free for non-commercial users, while Player 6 Pro can be licensed for business use. As an example, a college student might use Player 6 to install and run a pre-configured virtual appliance associated with a course lab created and provided by an instructor.

Fusion 7 is an endpoint virtualization product for Apple computers -- instead of x86-type computers -- allowing a Mac system to run Windows XP through Windows 8 applications, such as basic productivity tools to graphics-intensive scientific programs. Fusion also allows entire Windows systems to be migrated onto Mac systems while maintaining Mac shortcuts and gestures. Windows applications can be started from well-known Mac tools such as Dock, Spotlight or Launchpad just like other Mac applications. Fusion 7 requires a 64-bit Intel Mac and Mac OS X 10.8.0 or later, along with ample memory, disk space and graphics processors.

This was last published in December 2014

Dig Deeper on VMware Workstation, Fusion and Player

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