September 13, 2005 5:46 PM PDT
VMware beta ups multiprocessor abilities
VMware Workstation 5.5, scheduled for final release by the end of the year, lets one computer simultaneously run several operating systems. Each OS is called a virtual machine. The feature is handy for programmers testing crash-prone prototypes or simulating the interaction of several servers.
With the current workstation product, though, each virtual machine can use the resources of only a single processor. The 5.5 beta version gives operating systems experimental dual-processor support, said VMware, an EMC subsidiary. It's a feature that so far has only been available on VMware's high-end ESX Server product.
VMware Workstation runs atop a host operating system, either Linux or Windows, and lets a computer run a larger variety of guest operating systems. The current product can run 64-bit host operating systems, but version 5.5 adds support for 64-bit Windows, Linux and Solaris.
In addition, the software now has support for FreeBSD 5.3 and experimental support for version 5.04 of Ubuntu Linux.