VMware Workstation 11 supports up to 16 virtual CPUs, 8-terabyte (TB) virtual disks and up to 20 virtual networks; it promises several new features that can expand Workstation's role in enterprise endpoint systems.
With Workstation 11, VMware has added support for several new operating systems including Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Ubuntu 14.10, RHEL 7 and CentOS 7. VMware claims it has improved cloud support with VMware vCloud Air integration. It will also add desktop shortcuts for easier VM launch.
From a hardware standpoint, version 11 takes advantage of extensions in the Intel Haswell chipset; an updated extensible host controller interface (xHCI) controller; an updated network driver interface specification, or NDIS, driver; support for high-resolution displays; and up to 2 GB of video memory per VM and boot support for unified extensible firmware interface, or UEFI, systems.
VMware Player 7 Pro is positioned as a home/school/small business version of Workstation, and shares many of the advances in Workstation 11. This includes support for up to 16 virtual CPUs, 8-TB virtual disks, 64 GB of memory and 2 GB of video memory. Player 7 Pro also takes advantage of key extensions in the Intel Haswell CPUs for faster performance and has an updated xHCI controller; an updated network driver interface specification, or NDIS, driver; and support for high-resolution displays. Player 7 Pro also covers the latest operating system releases including Windows 8.1 (with Unity mode improvements), Windows Server 2012 R2, Ubuntu 14.19, RHEL 7 and CentOS 7.
VMware Fusion 7 Pro is not due for an update anytime soon, but it does provide a range of new features over the previous Fusion 6 Professional. Version 7 accommodates Mac OS X (Yosemite) and handles automatic or manual GPU switching for dual-GPU Macs. Fusion 7 Pro can also access VMs created by vSphere, ESXi or Workstation, and provides support for VM image files in open virtualization format. There are also numerous hardware improvements, with support for Intel Haswell-core CPU architectures and up to 2 GB of video memory per VM for graphics-intensive guest applications. There is also support for Mac-specific functionality, including a virtual Web camera using iSight and better support for Retina Mac systems using non-Retina displays.
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