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Can the hybrid cloud desktop hypervisor really take off?

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December 4, 2014

VMware has launched version 11 of its Workstation desktop virtualisation solution, and we took a look at what's under the hood.

The new release has a number of enhancements one would expect from a new release-- there's support for newer operating systems like Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Suse Enterprise Linux 12 and Ubuntu 14.10.

You can now handle higher-resolution screens of up to 3200x1800, which seeing as Workstation is a tool aimed at developers will be handy because it will be possible to mimic the colossal screens of modern laptops.

There's also support for Intel's Haswell architecture, booting virtual machines with EFI support is allowed and it's now possible to donate 2 GB of video memory to a VM.

And it's also now possible to run 20 virtual networks inside the desktop hypervisor, and to run virtual disks of up to 8 TB and VMs with 16 vCPUs.

The self-destructing virtual machines launched back in October have also made it into workstations.

But the most interesting item is the overall integration with VMware's very own cloud, vCloud Air, as Workstation can now “scale virtual machines in the external cloud.”

It's apparently possible to “connect to vCloud Air and upload, run, and view virtual machines right from the Workstation 11 interface.”

And you can also do more or less the same thing to and from a private cloud. All of which means the desktop hypervisor has hopped aboard the hybrid cloudwagon.

Just how over-the-wire VMs perform isn't yet known-- a trawl of various vForums suggests beta testers respected their non-disclosure agreements, or found the feature unworthy of mention.

VMware player 7 has also launched, with its main enhancement being to allow operation of VMs at the same scale Workstation 11 can create.

Source: VMware.

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