VMware Workstation 7.1 is here!

VMware released VMware Workstation 7.1 Fusion 3.1 today. From VMware’s Workstation 7.1 Release Notes:

New Support for 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating Systems

This release provides support for the following host and guest operating systems:

Operating System
Ubuntu 8.04.4 Host and guest
Ubuntu 10.04 Host and guest
OpenSUSE 11.2 Host and guest
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 Host and guest
Fedora 12 Guest
Debian 5.0.4 Guest
Mandriva 2009.1 Guest

New Features in VMware Workstation
•OpenGL 2.1 support for Windows 7 and Windows Vista guests — Improves the ability to run graphics-based applications in virtual machines.
•Improved Graphics Performance — Enhanced performance with better benchmarks, frame rates, and improved rendering on Windows 7 and Windows Vista guests allows you to run various graphics-based applications. In addition, major improvements in video playback enable you to play high-resolution videos in virtual machines.

•Automatic Software Updates — Download and install VMware Tools and receive maintenance updates when available.

•Direct Launch — Drag guest applications from the Unity start menu directly onto the host desktop. Double-click the shortcut to open the guest application. The shortcut remains on the desktop after you exit Unity and close VMware Workstation.

•Autologon — Save your login credentials and bypass the login dialog box when you power on a Windows guest. Use this feature if you restart the guest frequently and want to avoid entering your login credentials. You can enable Autologon and use direct launch to open guest applications from the host.

•OVF 1.1 Support — Import or export virtual machines and vApps to upload them to VMware vSphere or VMware vCloud. The VMware OVF Tool is a command-line utility bundled in the VMware Workstation installer. Use this tool along with VMware Workstation to convert VMware .vmx files to .ovf format or vice versa. VMware recommends that you use the OVF command-line utility. For more information, see the OVF Web site and OVF Tool User Guide.

•Eight-Way SMP Support — Create and run virtual machines with a total of up to eight-processor cores.
•2TB Virtual Disk Support — Maximum virtual disks and raw disks size increased from 950GB to 2TB.
•Encryption Enhancements — VMware Workstation includes support for Intel’s Advanced Encryption Standard instruction set (AES-NI) to improve performance while encrypting and decrypting virtual machines and faster run-time access to encrypted virtual machines on new processors.
•Memory Management — User interface enhancements have simplified the handling of increased virtual memory capacity.

•User Experience Improvement Program — Help VMware improve future versions of the product by participating in the User Experience Improvement Program.

VMware Fusion 3.1 was also released today. The following excerpt from the release notes list new features in this release:

VMware Fusion 3.1 has a large number of new and improved features, including:

New Features

•8-way SMP
•2 TB Virtual Disks
•OpenGL 2.1 for Vista
•OpenGL 2.1 for Windows 7
•Support for overlapping Unity windows in Exposé and Dock Exposé
•USB “EasyConnect” to easily assign USB devices to virtual machine or Mac when connected
•OVF Tool for Mac OS X now included as optional install with full download or CD install
•OVF Tool 2: Import and export OVF packaged virtual machines and upload to vSphere with bundled OVF Tool
•Drag a disk image or virtual disk to the installation media pane of the assistant
•Add shortcut for opening a virtual machines configuration file in default text editor for VMware Fusion (Hold down option and right-click in Virtual Machine Library)
•User Experience Improvement Program

Graphics Improvements

•Aero is much faster on Windows Vista and Windows 7
•Greatly improved scrolling speeds in Windows Vista and Windows 7 with latest Mac OS X release
•Some games up to 10x faster than VMware Fusion 3.0 with VMware Fusion 3.1 and latest Mac OS X release
•Improved performance and better compatibility for both DirectX 9 and OpenGL 3D applications

Boot Camp Improvements

•Up to 5x disk performance in Boot Camp virtual machines
•New option to minimize prompting for password (authentication dialogs) when using Boot Camp virtual machines
•Handle Mac OS X disk changes better to avoid multiple references to Boot Camp partition in the Virtual Machine Library

PC Migration Improvements

•Improvements to Migrate Your PC assistant, including better validation of names and better location prompt
•Prompt user if Mac OS X guest account prevents guest access to shared folders instead of failing
•Open new virtual machine on successful migration
•Enhanced user interface on PC being migrated including:
◦New progress dialog on the PC being migrated as well as in VMware Fusion
◦Option to show converter logs and troubleshooting steps on PC if PC migration fails
•Avoids port conflicts with Web server software installed on PC such as IIS, Tomcat, and Apache

New Guest Operating Systems Supported

•Ubuntu 32- and 64-bit
•Ubuntu 10.04: 32- and 64-bit (currently in Beta)
•SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 Service Pack 1: 32- and 64-bit
•SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1: 32- and 64-bit
•RHEL 5.4: 32- and 64-bit

My copy of Workstation 7.1 is downloading now. I have been using workstation since the original alpha and beta of “VMware” and can’t wait to get this latest version of installed!

New VMware Advanced Certifications announced

VMware Education has announced their new VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) Certification specialties VCAP4-Datacenter Administrator (VCAP4-DCA) and VCAP4-Datacenter Design (VCAP4-DCD).

VMware Certified Advanced Professional 4 -Datacenter Administration (VCAP4-DCA)
The VCAP-DCA is directed toward System Administrators, Senior Consultants and Technical Support Engineers who work with large and more complex virtualized environments and can demonstrate technical leadership with vSphere technologies. Successful candidates are able to use automation tools, to plan and design virtualized solutions and to administer all vSphere Enterprise components. Registration opens July 12. Learn more about this VCAP specialty.

VMware Certified Advanced Professional 4-Datacenter Design (VCAP4-DCD)
The VCAP-DCD is directed toward IT Architects and Consulting Architects who design VMware solutions in a multi-site, large enterprise environment. They have a deep understanding both of VMware core components and their relation to storage and networking as well as datacenter design methodologies. They also possess knowledge of applications and physical infrastructure, as well as their relationship to the virtual infrastructure. Registration opens in August. Learn more about this VCAP specialty.

Advanced Courses Created to help you Achieve Your New Certification Goals
VMware has designed several courses to help VCPs ramp their skills in preparation for VCAP certification exams.

VCAP-DCA Recommended Training
VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting [V4]
VMware vSphere: Manage for Performance [V4]

VCAP-DCD Recommended Training
VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [V4]

I have participated in “Train the Trainer” versions of each of the three courses listed above and heartily recommend them. Even if you do not anticipate pursuing advanced certification, these courses will greatly enhance your virtualization skills. If you later decide to pursue the advanced VMware credentials, you will be well on your way. These new specialties follow on after the VMware Certified Professional 4 (VCP4) exam and define the prerequisites along the path to VMware Certified Design Expert 4 (VCDX4) VMware premier certification. For more information on the VCDX4 Certification follow this link.