Release: VMware Workstation 6.5 & ACE 2.5 Public Beta

This week VMware announced their public beta program for VMware Workstation version 6.5 and VMware ACE 2.5. With the release of these BETA products VMware also introduced a new Beta Portal for these two products (click on the picture for the link to the Beta Portal):

public beta portal_new

What’s New in VMware Workstation 6.5:

  • Use Unity to integrate your guest apps with your host
  • More Powerful VM Record and Replay
  • Support for Smart Cards & Smart Card Readers
  • Enhanced ACE Authoring
  • Link State Propagation Networking
  • Improved 3D graphics Support
  • and more… click here for the release notes

After the introduction of “Unity” in the Apple world – Unity is part of VMware’s Fusion product – the concept is now also available in VMware’s Workstation product. So what is Unity? With Unity you can:
Integrate your favorite guest applications with your host. Open the application window, enter unity mode, and then minimize the Workstation window. The guest application windows look just like host application windows. You can access the virtual machine’s Start menu (for Windows virtual machines) or Applications menu (for Linux virtual machines) by placing the mouse pointer over the host’s Start or Applications menu.

Link state propagation is especially useful for mobile users running virtual machines. When changing from wired to wireless the ip-addresses are automatically renewed when using the bridged networking for your VM’s.

VMware ACE authoring features are now fully integrated with Workstation, and no special ACE Edition is required.

This new version also has support for additional host and guest operating systems such as CentOS, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Asianux, and newer editions of operating systems already supported. Windows Server 2008 is experimentally supported as a guest.

The new version of virtual hardware now supports adding or removing some virtual devices while the virtual machine is powered on (“hot-plug”). E.g. hot-add virtual cpu’s and memory to a Windows 2008 guest.

What’s New in VMware ACE 2.5:

  • Seamless Applications
  • Network Mobility
  • Smart Card Authentication support
  • Enhanced Pocket ACE Performance
  • Usability Improvements

Previously, ACE-specific user interface controls were available only in Workstation ACE Edition. In VMware ACE 2.5, these controls are available to all VMware Workstation customers. The ability to use ACE instances on computers where Workstation is not installed still requires an ACE license, as does the ability to manage ACE instances with the ACE Management Server.

  • Usability improvements — The process of creating virtual machines for end users is now simpler and more intuitive. The required tasks are clearly ordered and made available on the summary view for an ACE-enabled virtual machine. The concept of an ACE master has been removed in favor of simply enabling ACE features for a virtual machine.
  • New Pocket ACE cache and exit behavior settings — You can now configure runtime settings so that Pocket ACE files are always kept on the USB device and never cached on the host computer. This feature is convenient if disk space on the host is very limited or if the files must remain only on the USB device for security reasons. You can also configure exit behavior so that when users power off a virtual machine, changes are automatically synchronized with the host.
  • Improved Pocket ACE performance — The time it takes to synchronize a Pocket ACE with the host during power off has been greatly reduced.

In addition to these ACE-specific features, VMware ACE includes all the new features of Workstation 6.5, including unity mode, link state propagation, smart card support, and full screen switching in VMware Player.

Check the VMware ACE 2.5 release notes for more information.


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