Architecture and Operating System WBSIT
VMware Workstation 15
VMware is a common name used in the IT world, especially in the healthcare field. Hang around the hospital IT department and there is a lot of talk about VMWare, VDIs, and AppStacks. It can all get confusing, but there is a good reason it is all needed.
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VMware was founded in 1998 with only five technologists and has grown extensively since then. Workstation 1.0 was released in 1999 and was created to allow users to run virtual machines on a single PC. Over 2000 universities purchased Workstation 1.0 which helped VMware reach over $1 million in sales and bookings. Since then, Workstation has gone through many changes and updates with the latest version being 15.1.0 which was released May 2019.
Currently, there are two product offerings in the Workstation area – Workstation Pro and Workstation Player. Workstation Pro can not only run multiple operating systems as virtual machines, but it has all the bells and whistles which make it desirable for IT professionals, developers, and business leaders. Workstation Player is a little more cost effective. It is free for personal use and allows the user to run multiple operating systems on one PC but lacks a few of the security and advanced features the Pro version has.
Released in 1999, VMware Workstation 1.0 was the first of its kind. Users had the ability to run multiple operating systems on a single computer. To run Workstation 1.0 a system required a Pentium II 266 MHz processor and 64 MB of memory. Virtual instances using Workstation 1.0 were able to run MS-DOS 6, Windows 95/98, Windows NT, and a few others including SUSE Linux 5.3. As stated above, many universities helped to promote the workstation with their support. Workstation 2.0 was released in 2000 and added a “Suspend and Instant Restore” function. It allowed the user to return to the previous state without having to reboot. Remote Desktop function became very helpful with the release of Workstation 3.0 in 2000 and guest operating systems included Windows XP/2000, Netware 6.0, and the latest (at the time) Linux versions. VMWare continued to upgrade and release subsequent versions in the coming years. Version 6.5 released in 2008 introduced Record Replay to record and replay issues, along with reverse execution simulation which helped developers to narrow down and pinpoint issues in applications and testing. The year 2009 brought an improved version of the Record Replay called Replay Debugging. This feature was created to help Developers identify and fix issues within the system. It was a powerful tool and great initiative but was found to not be used as much as they had hoped. Replay Debugging was removed in Workstation 8.0. Instead VMware management decided to focus on other features and thus dedicated their engineers on multi-processor support, performance, and usability improvements.
VMware continued subsequent upgrades offering additional operating system support including Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Version 10 offered user interface enhancements, virtual tablets sensors, and cloud management tools. 2013-2015 marked other additional Version 10 fixes ranging from bug fixes, security fixes, and compatibility issues of USB and audio devices. Workstation 11.0 in 2014 offered operating system support for Windows 10, Fedora 20, and CentOS 7 and upgrade to 2GB video memory per virtual machine. 2015 saw many more version updates to resolve critical and security issues, as well as bug fixes. Workstation 12 was released late 2015. Noteworthy of Workstation 12 is the many additional releases to fix bugs or enhancements. 12.0.1, 12.1.0, 12.1.1, 12.5, 12.5.1, 12.5.2, 12.5.3, 12.5.4, 12.5.5, 12.5.6, 12.5.7, 12.5.8, and 12.5.9 were released within a period from 2015-2018. Skipping over Workstation 13 (many companies skip over 13), Workstation 14 was released September 2017. This major version release offered many improvements including support for the newer versions on Windows 10 and Windows Server editions, improved virtual networking, network latency simulator, and support for Virtualization Based Security. Guest operating system support included Windows Server 2016, Ubuntu 16.04/17.04, CentOS7.4, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SLE/Desktop 12.
Workstation 15 is the most up to date version VMware now offers. It packs a punch and claims to be one of their biggest releases so far. Workstation 15 is offered in two versions: Workstation Pro and Workstation Player. Version 15 made available to users Rest API which allows users to automate certain management task such as deploying and configuring virtual machines like inventory management, networking management, and power management. User interface was also improved in Version 15 allowing for the 4K resolution support to help with better scaling on higher end display monitors. Other enhancements provided by Workstation 15 include Network Simulation, Network Rename, and USB auto connect. Host Operating Systems with Workstation 15 includes:
- Ubuntu 14.04 and above
- Red Hat Enterprise Linus 6 and above
- Oracle Linux 6.0 and above
- CentOS 6.0 and above
- openSUSE Leap 42.2 and above
- SUSE Linux 12 and above
Workstation 15 supports more than 200 systems including:
- Windows 10
- Windows 8.X
- Windows 7
- Windows XP
- Red Hat
- Oracle Linux
Workstation 15 Pro reviews have been very supportive. Users for this VMware product includes IT administration and developers allowing them to run multiple operating systems on a single workstation. Testing of networks and architecture, developing code, and working through issues can all be handled at a single workstation when using Workstation 15. It supports up to 3GB of video memory and also supports 4K and UHD resolution. This most powerful workstation can host up to 16 virtual CPUs and 64GB of RAM. Also, to help with testing and developing, Workstation 15 allows the connection of physical USBs to the virtual machine. Other uses for the IT professional include testing and demonstration of software, and testing applications on different platforms. Other than IT professionals, business professionals can use Workstation for the recent BYO (Bring Your Own technology) trend. There are more than 200 supported operating systems with Workstation 15. Corporate desktops can easily be pushed out by the Workstation to the company’s employees personally owned laptop. This also allows for the employee to access their company desktop from anywhere.
There are many uses for a virtual machine, and VMware seems to be the industry standard on creating the most powerful and compatible workstation. In celebration of their 20th anniversary, it seems VMware outdid their selves with this powerful and improved version of the Workstation. Many different users from developers, software engineers, business leaders and professionals, academic professors and students, and even the home user will get many benefits from Workstation 15 and the use of 16 virtual CPUs. The industry standard seems to know what they are doing and have helped contributed to the advancement of technology the last twenty years.
- Avriller, Xavier. (2018, October 8). VMware Workstation 15 – New Features and Improvements. Retrieved from https://www.vembu.com/blog/vmware-workstation-15-new-features/
- Fenech, Jason. (2017, November 6). 8 New Features In VMWare Workstation 14 Pro. Retrieved from https://www.altaro.com/vmware/vmware-workstation-14-pro/
- Goodbye, Replay Debugging. (2011, September 14). Retrieved from http://www.replaydebugging.com/2011/09/goodbye-replay-debugging.html
- Sheen, Dr. Jeffrey. (2019, January 14). Review: VMware Workstation 15 Pro Impresses by Running Multiple, Powerful VMs. Retrieved from https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/review-vmware-workstation-15-pro-impresses-running-multiple-powerful-vms
- VMware Workstation from 1999 to 2015. (2015, December 6). Retrieved from https://www.virten.net/2015/12/vmware-workstation-from-1999-to-2015/
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