VMware Unveils Fifth Generation of Powerful Desktop Virtualization Software

Groundbreaking Functionality in VMware Workstation 5 Takes Productivity of Software Developers and Quality Assurance (QA) Teams to the Next Level

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 11, 2005 — VMware, Inc., the global leader in virtual infrastructure software for industry-standard systems, today announced the general availability of VMware Workstation 5, a major new release of its powerful desktop virtualization software. Workstation 5 has groundbreaking functionality that takes the productivity of software developers and QA teams to the next level.

For six years, enterprises have been using VMware Workstation to accelerate software development, testing and deployment and increase product quality. With Workstation, enterprises are able to create a library of virtual machines for x86 operating systems including Windows, Linux, Netware and Solaris x86 that resemble production environments. These virtual machines can then be rapidly provisioned to developers and QA teams so they spend more time developing and testing software and less time configuring the required environment.

VMware Workstation 5 pushes the envelope with new features that address the needs of enterprises building multi-tier applications. The new features in Workstation 5 combined with memory-sharing technology previously available only in data center-class VMware ESX Server make it possible for enterprises to provision multi-tier applications and simulate real-world deployment scenarios on developer desktops. Enterprises can thus offer unmatched flexibility to their development and QA teams.

"We have been using VMware Workstation to maximize efficiency for our development team and provide them with the tools they need to create and rigorously test our Enterprise Performance Optimization solutions," said David Parsons, senior vice president of product development for ALG Software, a provider of performance management solutions. "Workstation 5 will bring them even more advanced features. With the Teams functionality, we will be able to create groups of virtual machines to simulate our applications working in real-world multi-tier configurations. We can change network bandwidth and other networking characteristics and switch between virtual machines in each team, taking our product development to a new level."

"VMware Workstation streamlines our work in QA so we can more quickly release new, higher quality products," said Cliff Thornton, manager of Cognos Solution and Interoperability Quality Control at Cognos, a provider of business intelligence and corporate performance management software and services. "We cut our costs by buying fewer PCs, and we can do more on one computer than we could with many separate boxes. For example, for language testing, we can boot up four virtual machines in different languages at once, and then run and compare our products against different languages and configurations at the same time. We can also isolate issues without having to worry about degradation of hardware or needing to rebuild systems. With Workstation's new multiple snapshots feature, we can even more easily switch between configurations and revert to previous states. We are also looking forward to using the linked cloning feature to set up templates of testing environments for even more time savings."

"VMware Workstation is a powerful tool for application testing, debugging and demos," said Murray McCulligh, development manager at Entrust, a leader in securing digital identities and information. "To develop public key infrastructure client applications, we need to configure multiple tiers, which need to work together. The new Teams feature in Workstation 5 allows us to create the entire configuration on local desktops, which gives our developers tremendous flexibility and control over the environment. The new cloning feature of Workstation 5 will also enable us to create cloned shared virtual machines so developers can build on each other's work. The snapshot manager increases individual productivity because it allows us to create, manage and quickly switch between multiple snapshots making testing different service packs and configurations that much easier."

"Over the past six years, millions have adopted VMware Workstation as an essential technology for improving development productivity," said Karthik Rau, director of product management at VMware. "VMware Workstation 5 has groundbreaking new features tailored towards multi-tier application development. This gives developers unprecedented flexibility to create enterprise-class applications."

Among the many major new and enhanced features in VMware Workstation 5 are:

  • Teams: Users can connect multiple virtual machines together with configurable network segments to simulate and test complex multi-tier applications on developer desktops. Network segment properties such as network bandwidth and packet loss rate are fully configurable.
  • Multiple Snapshots: Users can take multiple point-in-time snapshots of running virtual machines and revert back to any snapshot with the click of a button.
  • Clones: Users can mark any virtual machine as a template so multiple users can share its base installation. Any changes to the virtual machine are saved in a new linked clone virtual machine to reduce disk space and enable team collaboration.
  • Enhanced Performance: Users benefit from significant performance improvements in networking, memory consumption, suspend/resume, shared folder and sound enhancements, making an already robust product even faster and better especially with multi-virtual machine workloads.
  • Movie Capture: Users can record screen, keyboard and mouse activity in a virtual machine as an AVI file which can then be replayed on any desktop for debugging and team collaboration.
  • Usability Improvements: Users can leverage the new gtk2-based interface that offers improved usability on Linux.
  • New 64-bit Host Operating System and Processor Support: Support for a number of 64-bit host operating systems including Windows XP (experimental), Windows Server 2003 SP1 (experimental), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and 4 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 and 9. Support for processors with 64-bit extensions includes AMD Opteron, AMD Athlon 64 and Intel EM64T.
  • New 32-bit Operating System Support: New host and/or guest operating system support includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 3, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, SUSE Linux Pro 9.2, Mandrake Linux 10, Sun's Java Desktop System and Novell Linux Desktop 9.
  • Command Line Interface: Users can leverage the command line interface that supports basic operations to enable automation of certain manual tasks.

Virtual machines created with VMware Workstation can be deployed to the enterprise-class VMware GSX Server and the data center-class VMware ESX Server platforms. Once deployed on GSX Server or ESX Server, VMware VirtualCenter can manage these virtual machines. This lets development teams more easily manage the software lifecycle process and seamlessly move computing environments from development to testing, and from staging to production.

Pricing and Availability

VMware Workstation 5 is available today for both Windows and Linux host operating systems. The electronic download is available for $189 via the VMware Store ( www.vmware.com/vmwarestore/); the boxed version is $199. The product is also available from the VMware VIP Reseller Network and distribution partners ( www.vmware.com/partners/resellers/).

Registered customers who purchased VMware Workstation 4.5 after December 15, 2004 are eligible for a free electronic download distribution upgrade license to VMware Workstation 5 via the VMware Store ( www.vmware.com/vmwarestore/). For those registered customers of VMware Workstation 4.x who purchased the product prior to this date, an electronic download distribution upgrade license to VMware Workstation 5 is available for $99. And for a limited time only, between now and June 30, 2005, registered customers of VMware Workstation 3.x are also eligible to buy an electronic download distribution upgrade license upgrade to VMware Workstation 5 for $99.

A full-featured 30-day trial version of VMware Workstation 5 can be downloaded directly from the VMware Web site.

About VMware, Inc.

VMware, an EMC company (NYSE: EMC), is the global leader in virtual infrastructure software for industry-standard systems. The world's largest companies use VMware solutions to simplify their IT, fully leverage their existing computing investments and respond faster to changing business demands. VMware is based in Palo Alto, California. For more information, visit www.vmware.com or call 650-475-5000.

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