Michael Roy is the Product Line Marketing Manager for Fusion, Fusion Pro, Workstation Pro and Workstation Player at VMware. He guides product roadmap and messaging, produces and presents technical collateral, and works across teams to refine product integration strategy.
This year at VMworld we had a special treat for our attendees with our Fusion 10th Anniversary Collector Box. Outside the box it says Fusion 10 all over, but with the box came a USB card that has you covered on all platforms: Workstation 14 Pro for Windows, Workstation 14 Pro for Linux and Fusion 10 Pro for Mac.
Of course this is great if you were lucky enough to attend VMworld, but what if you didn’t?
Out of luck, right?
We pulled back a curtain in the storage room and found a whole crate of boxes that didn’t make it into the hands of our users, so we’re making them available to you for only $160!
That’s right, for the price of a new copy of Fusion 10 Pro with this box you get 2 copies of Workstation 14 Pro, a copy of Fusion 10 Pro* AND a very svelte collector tin and coaster for your office!
Over $660 in just software for only $160!
What else is there to say? If you dig cross platform virtualization, this the best deal you’ll find on the web today. Hurry while supplies last!
*Includes a ‘Thank You’ card insert which contains 3 keys: 1 Fusion 10 Pro Full License Key, 1 Workstation 14 Pro for Windows NFR Key, and 1 Workstation 14 Pro for Linux NFR Key. “NFR” keys are promotional keys and will unlock all capabilities of the software but do not include entitlement for filing support requests or major-version upgrade discounts. Offer is in USD and only available in the United States.
These releases build on a long tradition of leading edge virtualization capabilities, and this year we’ve introduced new features that will help IT Professionals and Businesses be more productive and more secure.
Virtual Hardware Platform 14
Workstation 14 Pro builds from the newest vSphere Virtual Hardware Platform, now at version 14, and with it delivers new features such as support for:
– Microsoft Device Guard and Credential Guard “Virtualization Based Security” feature support for Windows 10 Guests (Guests only at this time)
– A new Virtual NVMe device for faster disk access on SSD storage and a requirement for vSAN testing
– UEFI Secure Boot, required for VBS and supported with ESXi 6.5 Virtual Guests.
– A new Virtual Trusted Platform Module which is used to manage keys for guest encryption services such as BitLocker.
– Support for the latest Intel Kabylake and AMD Ryzen CPUs
Workstation Pro: The Master of Local Desktop Virtualization.
Workstation 14 Pro adds upon this with new Virtual Network Simulation features. We’ve had Network Packet Loss and Bandwidth before, but we have now added Network Latency to the mix, configurable for both Incoming and Outgoing traffic for each virtual network adapter. This feature makes it easy to test the resiliency of your applications under harsh network conditions.
Workstation 14 Pro also allows users to stay organized with custom network renaming.
We’ve of course also added support for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, known also as build 1709 or ‘Redstone 3’, which includes Windows Server 2016, as both Host and Guest. On the Linux side we have added support for Ubuntu 17.04, and Fedora 26 as both Host and Guest.
Seamless vCenter Deploy
For users looking to test the vCenter Server Appliance, Workstation Pro now provides a guided wizard to make the deployment effortless.
New Remote Controls
When connected to vSphere, users can now control Power operations for ESXi hosts. Power them off, Reboot them or bring them in or out of Maintenance mode right from Workstation Pro.
The Essential Virtualization Tool
All this and numerous bug fixes, small enhancements, and performance gains leveraging newer CPU hardware features for virtualization are what continue to make Workstation Pro the essential tool for IT professionals, and Workstation Player the ideal solution for secure virtual desktops.
It’s about that time, and this year we’re very proud of the advancements we’ve made with our original flagship products, VMware Workstation Pro and Workstation Player.
Once released this October, in addition to supporting Microsoft’s Fall updates for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, and updated Linux support for Fedora 26 and Ubuntu 17.04, Workstation 14 Pro will deliver enhanced security with support for Virtualization Based Security (VBS) features of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows Server 2016 Guests, improved Virtual Networking, and added new support and controls for working with vSphere and the vCenter Server Appliance.
Virtualization Based Security: Device Guard and Credential Guard in a Virtual Machine
The Virtual Hardware Platform also includes support for the latest processors from both Intel and AMD while adding new Virtual Firmware features such as UEFI and Secure Boot.
Along with the existing network speed and packet loss simulator, a new Network Latency Simulator further enables developers to run tests and simulate a specific network environment, including distance and network quality to test application resiliency. This and other advanced networking features will enable administrators to customize the name of virtual network adapters for better organization.
Network Simulation Control
For vSphere administrators looking to test the latest VMware vSphere technology, Workstation 14 Pro provides a new installation walkthrough. Quickly and easily deploy the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) in a virtual machine on Workstation Pro to create a full, virtual, software-defined data center stack on your Windows or Linux PC.
Effortlessly deploy the vCenter Server Appliance OVA
New Remote vSphere Controls
Workstation 14 Pro has added controls when interacting with remote ESXi hosts, directly or through vCenter, with new options for Host Reboot, Shutdown and to toggle Maintenance Mode on ESXi hosts.
Added Host Power + Maintenance Operations
VMware Workstation 14 Player
VMware Workstation 14 Player is a streamlined offering in the Workstation 14 product line, and leverages the same hypervisor technology platform as Workstation 14 Pro. As such, Player gets many of the same benefits of it’s big brother Workstation Pro including performance, bug fixes, and updated hardware and OS support. Like Pro, Player can now also run Windows Virtualization Based Security VMs with Device Guard and Credential Guard, making it useful for delivering compliant corporate desktops in a secure container to end users.
For businesses and enterprises, Workstation Player gives users the power to run restricted VMs that comply with corporate policy. Combined with VBS security features, this commercial solution is designed for businesses looking to run a single, secure, virtual desktop on a corporate or BYO PC.
Workstation 14 Player will also be available for free for personal, non-commercial use.
Customers who purchased VMware Workstation 12.5 Pro or VMware Workstation 12.5 Player between Aug 22 and November 1st, 2017 will receive a free electronic upgrade to VMware Workstation 14 Pro and VMware Workstation 14 Player respectively. No action is required for this free upgrade.
Please see our FAQ
Availability and Pricing VMware Workstation 14 Pro and VMware Workstation 14 Player will be available in early October, from vmware.com for $249.99 and $149.99 respectively.
VMware Workstation 11, 12 and 12.5 customers can upgrade to VMware Workstation 14 Pro for $149.99. VMware Player 7 Pro and VMware Workstation 12 Player customers can upgrade to Workstation 14 Player for $79.99.
The VMware Workstation team is proud to announce the VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2017 release! This release includes many great new features that we’ve been working on and we would love to hear your feedback through our Tech Preview Discussion Community.
New OS Support and Platform Features
Windows 10 Creator Updates Support. This latest member of Windows 10 family is now supported by VMware Workstation Tech Preview 2017, as both host and guest.
Other New OS Support. Workstation Tech Preview 2017 adds support of a variety of new operating systems including Ubuntu 17.04 and Fedora 26. If you are running these latest operating systems, we would like to hear your feedback on how they perform with this Tech Preview release. If you are using other OSes in Workstation Tech Preview 2017, we would also like to learn your feedback.
Guest VBS Support – Security is one of the most critical aspects for information technology and there is no difference in virtualization. With the new platform, we are excited to invite you to try VBS (Virtualization Based Security) within Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 running as guest operating systems in VMware Workstation Tech Preview 2017. Guest VBS Support is still under actively development and we would like to hear your feedback such as user experience and performance.
UEFI Secure Boot – One of the more interesting features of vSphere 6.5 is the adoption of Secure Boot for ESXi. We are happy to announce this great security feature is also adopted by VMware Workstation Tech Preview 2017!
Virtual NVMe support – NVMe is becoming increasingly important in the storage market. With the new virtual hardware platform, VMware Workstation Tech Preview 2017 is able to take advantage of the NVMe (NVM Express) controller which is also supported in ESXi 6.5.
Rename Virtual Networks – Many users would like to customize the name of virtual network adapters, especially for powered users who may have several of them in building a virtualization lab. With VMware Workstation Tech Preview 2017, you can rename networks in the Virtual Network Editor. This feature currently is only available for Windows host operating systems. Try it and let us know how it works.
Network Latency Simulation – Testing software and applications with Workstation Pro is very popular because of its convenience and cost-efficiency. Now with the new Network Latency Simulation feature, along with the existing network speed and packet loss simulator, you can easily simulate a specific network environment using VMware Workstation Tech Preview 2017. Simply enable this feature by checking the new options in Network Adapter Advanced Settings.
IP Address Display on VM Console – You don’t have to log into your VM to check the IP and MAC addresses. With VMware Workstation Tech Preview 2017, these information is directly displayed on your VM console. The latest VMware Tools is needed to enable this feature.
Improved vSphere Integration
vSphere/ESXi Host Power Operation – Many users connect to vSphere ESXi and vCenter with VMware Workstation to remotely manage virtual machines. Now you can also perform power operations to ESXi hosts, including Enter/Exit maintenance mode, restart and shutdown, and directly from VMware Workstation Tech Preview 2017.
Import VCSA – VMware Workstation is the best solution to run and learn VMware datacenter products on a local machine. With improved OVF/OVA support, you can import VCSA (VMware vCenter Server Appliance) to VMware Workstation Tech Preview 2017 much easier than before.
There are some known issues so be sure to check out the ‘What’s New’ document in the Tech Preview community. The download is available for free to VMTN Community users, and we implore that this build is only for testing and evaluation purposes. While we make every effort to ensure every build we release is stable and solid, this is a pre-release build that is still in development and as such we do NOT recommend using this build on production systems.
We of course don’t guarantee that any features will make it to a generally available and fully supported release, but we’re eager to hear your feedback on our progress.
So go on, grab the build from our community, give it a test drive on your lab machine and tell us what you think!
As I’m sure you noticed, we’ve delivered a flurry of patch-releases for Fusion and Workstation in the last few weeks. Want to know why? Because security matters.
The Pwn2Own competition at the CanSecWest conference put a huge bounty on ‘vmescape‘. They’re not the first to do this, and they won’t be the last. And I want to be clear up front, we’re delighted that they helped us make our products more robust, and more secure.
For those not following this closely, ‘vmescape’ is the challenge of executing code on a host machine, that originated on a virtual machine. In other words, you have to execute something on a virtual computer, that tricks the hypervisor, such as Fusion, Workstation, ESXi, etc, in to passing that code through to the host computer, effectively breaking out of the guest with the intent of controlling or damaging the host.
While the successful exploits themselves are interesting to note, the likelihood of this causing actual damage to you, in the real world is pretty small. Partly because of the nature and complexity of the technology involved, and partly because of the bevy of unknowables of a real production system. Mike Foley, one of our foremost security gurus, notes:
“VM Escape is not the threat your security guy thinks it is. It’s really, really hard to do.”
Hard to do, but still imperative that we fix. And so we have. With an abundance of gratitude to our incredibly talented security team, working directly with our multi-discipline engineering teams, we think we’ve been on top of things.
Platform security is critically important
Virtualization technology today is used more widely, and in more critical systems than ever. With VMware having such a prominent footprint both on the desktop and in the data center, we take our role and responsibility in this very seriously.
While many of our Fusion & Workstation customers are considered ‘consumers’, (i.e. they have a single copy installed on their own personal machine), the majority of our customers are business, both small and large. Security for the end-user is important, but when we’re talking about corporate systems and virtual desktops that connect to those systems, the need for an air-tight virtualization stack becomes an imperative.
To that end, we’ve delivered 3 critical patches for both Fusion and Workstation (both Pro and Player), each addressing different security issues documented in our Security Advisory announcements (which can be found here), all within the past 3 weeks.
We understand that this makes it tricky for you. Updating software is never fun – even if it’s fully automated – and we appreciate the anxiety we may have caused you, but I hope you agree, it was worth it
Collaboration is Key
We’re very proud of our engineering teams. Cross collaboration between them is critical when addressing complex issues, made more difficult by the need for rapid delivery. And of course while patching is critical, maintaining a high level of product quality is something we refuse to compromise on.
We work directly with security researchers who demonstrate some pretty slick exploits at several security shows, and we’re keen to see that trend continue. In this day-and-age, when breaches and data privacy issues are making mainstream headlines, we couldn’t do this without the collaboration we get from the community. We are immensely grateful to you.
Now, Secure yourself
It’s always important to stay up to date with security patches for all software you own/use/control. If your software hasn’t auto-updated already, get the latest patches [here]. And while we have your security attention, we recently came up with a nice little way to use Fusion and Workstation to help increase both your own security and privacy when dealing with online threats.
For this use case, we have a nice summary infographic and video, with more detailed writeups for safely surfing the Internet with Fusion and Workstation [linked respectively].
Here on the Personal Desktop team (which is the product group containing our Fusion and Workstation products), we love our users. We bend over backwards to make sure the products are secure, and work in a way that our users expect with regular new features and the stability we’ve all come to depend on.
In this vein, the VMware User Group, or VMUG, members are our most passionate and advanced users. These are the kind of users who rely on Fusion or Workstation to test applications and operating systems locally before pushing to their bigger vSphere platform. They know virtualization inside and out, are our earliest adopters, and dedicate time to testing the latest and greatest from any vendor that wishes to have a footprint in their data center.
The VMUG Advantage program includes the ‘VMUG EvalExperience’ subscription which provides exclusive access to 1-year evaluation licenses of VMware’s flagship products and solutions, for use as a learning tool in your home lab. In addition, you get:
20% Discount on VMware Training Classes
20% Discount on VMware Certification Exams
$500 IBM SoftLayer Cloud Credit
35% Discount on VMware Lab Connect
$100 Discount on VMworld Attendance
The full list of products in the EVALExperience program includes:
VMware Workstation Pro 12.5
VMware Fusion Pro 8.5
VMware vCenter Server Standard for vSphere 6
VMware vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise Plus
VMware vCloud Suite Standard
VMware vRealize Operations
VMware vRealize Log Insight
VMware vRealize Operations for Horizon
VMware Horizon Advanced Edition
If you’re an admin who works with VMware’s products, there’s never been a better time or reason to join the VMUG Advantage program!
The Internet was great, but in addition to being a place to share ideas it needed to be a place for consumer commercial activity in order to gain the resources (i.e. corporate sponsorship and investment) needed to grow.
With bring the most connected generation in the history of the world, we are also now gathering more information than ever.
Things start to go Wrong
We now live in a world where a simple transparent 1×1 pixel .gif can be used to follow and track our online behaviour an endless number of sites across all of your devices. Social media hooks are built into every page for shareability, allowing groups like Facebook, Twitter and Google to learn more about what you click than ever before.
On the darker side of that equation, you have lots of potential for misuse and abuse of this new distributed digital landscape. Ad networks can unknowingly distribute malware, pages can ‘click-bait’ you into accidentally opening a barrage of popups or worse, and mobile devices have not had the same maturity as desktop devices so their ability to block unknown threats is minimal at best.
A Potential Solution
So, what does this have to do with VMware or VMware Workstation?
Workstation can be used to isolate all of this behaviour away from the computer that you are using, keeping you safe and protected.
Because of the isolation provided by the VMware hypervisor technology, using a virtual machine in Workstation effectively creates a sandbox for a second (or third, or fourth…) Operating System on the same computer you’re running.
It runs it the new OS in an isolated way with respect to Memory, CPU, and physical hardware devices. To be cliche about it: “What happens in the VM stays in the VM.”
So when something attacks a browser that’s running in a Virtual Machine sandbox, it has no way of impacting the main computer where you might have more sensitive information stored, like credit card or account numbers or access to otherwise protected networks that are available to the host computer.
And because it’s a virtual machine, you can do other interesting things as well, such as having a ‘snapshot’ for a roll back point, put it on a different network than the physical computer itself, or even bring that same VM to different computers to avoid having to use someone else’s browser.
Kid Friendly Internet-ing
It also makes sense if you have kids. I helped my sister out by having my nephew use a virtual machine. He double-clicks the ‘Kids Internet’ button on the desktop, it fires up a Linux virtual machine, and everything that he and his little brother click on can be easily undone by rolling back to a snapshot taken earlier.
It’s an interesting use case, and makes a lot of sense, especially for the privacy-conscious. There are OS’s out there designed specifically for anonymity such as Tails, Discreete Linux, Whonix, or Qubes OS.
We really think that our users would get a lot of benefit from this sort of a setup, so we put together a short Infographic and Video to share the story.
Did you know that VMware Workstation Pro makes it easy to manage a fleet of “Bring Your Own Device” users?
By managing local desktop virtualization endpoints and users with VMware Horizon FLEX, businesses have more control than ever before. Use Workstation Pro to create your ‘Gold Master’ templates and then share those with end users to run using Workstation Player. The templates can be restricted and even encrypted, and managed from the central Horizon FLEX console.
Even when used un-namaged, Workstation Pro and Workstation Player allows BYOD PC’s to live in the enterprise like never before. Users can run the corporate desktop, complete with custom windows-only applications developed in-house, right from their personal Windows or Linux PC.