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64-bit support, virtual SMP support new to VMware Workstation

VMware Workstation 5.5 features enhancements such as experimental support for two-way virtual SMP and 64-bit guest support .

Category: Developer Life Cycle Tool

Description: VMware Workstation lets enterprises create a library of virtual machines and replicate and provision production environments, which allows programmers to develop and test several projects under the same configuration criteria. The company's latest release, version 5.5, features enhancements such as experimental support for two-way virtual SMP, which lets a virtual machine span two processors, and an enhanced virtual machine importer. In addition, the product includes 64-bit guest support for AMD and Intel technology, which lets developers run 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems simultaneously on the same hardware.

Expert commentary: "VMware continues to stay safely ahead of the competition in the virtual machine arena with the latest release of their Workstation product (as well as the free VMware Player, which lets anyone run a virtual machine built with the full product). With new features like support for 2-way SMP, the ability to open Microsoft and Symantec images, and support for 64-bit host and guest operating systems, VMware continues to define the state of the art in their niche."

Expert commentary: "Today's general availability of public betas of the next wave of products from Microsoft and other companies makes it extremely difficult to keep a clean "production" environment to use for your daily tasks, while at the same time not losing the bandwagon on the newer stuff. VMWare provides the ability to have multiple virtual machines where you can have fully isolated "beta" environments to play with the newer bits, without risking your production development environment. It also makes it a breeze to test your applications in multiple operating systems before deployment. It's definitely an excellent companion, if you can afford the extra disk space (a secondary disk is highly recommended) and memory to run multiple machines (2GB recommended). Even when Microsoft has come up with the prospect competitor Virtual PC, VMWare is still well ahead of it, providing more responsiveness, better support for snapshots, video screen recordings, team features, etc."

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