VMware Workstation Pro is the premiere, portable virtualization application on the market today. An IT professional running multiple operating systems in one place benefits from its scalability and rich feature set. Whether you are a developer testing code on various operating systems or you are a helpdesk support member testing functionality at different patch levels, this is the virtual app for you. Developers can quickly spin up instances to support client needs. Leverage VMware Workstation Pro during the test and QA phases of your application lifecycle.
What are Workstation Pro's capabilities?
VMware Workstation Pro is the Hercules of virtualization applications, with impressive scalability, capacity, portability, and an overall rich feature set.
VMware Workstation Pro enables users to run simultaneous virtual machines from their desktop, tablet, and phone. Access to server-hosted and local VMs on your tablet or phone is done through a web interface, allowing IT professionals and remote support personnel to work anywhere, anytime, as long as they have internet access. The software also facilitates connectivity and compatibility with other VMware Workstation copies, VMware vSphere, or ESXi. This portability allows users to create and test an instance locally, later migrating it to other Enterprise level VMware platforms.
The desktop client of VMware Workstation Pro presents users with a home screen with options including Create a New Virtual Machine, Open a Virtual Machine, Connect to a Remote Server, Virtual Network Editor, Workstation Preferences, and more. Software updates and Help buttons are also included on the home page, giving users access to the support options they need. Your virtual machine instances are tabbed across the top of the interface, much like an internet browser, facilitating easy navigation between VMs. Shared VMs are accessed via the Library menu on the left of the UI as well. The desktop app has easily navigable dropdown menus including File, Edit, View, VM, Tabs, and Help.
Customizable VM hardware settings include memory, processors, network adapter, etc. Users can specify the amount of memory allocated to each VM, in multiples of 4 MB. Screenshots and screen recordings are helpful features as developers and testers document their progress and findings throughout their simulated environments. Snapshots and screen recordings (called “Movies”) can be accessed via the VM tab at the top of the UI.
Virtual Machines can be cloned, ensuring an exact copy of an environment, which reduces risk in certain testing scenarios. The ability to construct large scale VMs makes the sky the limit while fostering freedom of creativity. Restricted VMs can be created for “offline” VM security. Access Management is made easy with drag-and-drop content restriction functionality. Encryption and password protection safeguards your data. VMware Workstation Pro boasts the largest choice of host and guest operating systems in the industry, without the need to reboot your device.
Continuous updates and user experience improvements
VMware continually evolves its offering by releasing product updates and enhancements. Enjoy improvements to speed, network access, and Unity Mode in the tool’s latest version 15.1.0. Workstation Pro operational speed has been recently improved, facilitating faster creation, editing, and sharing of virtual machines. Toggling between tabbed VMs is faster as well, providing seamless integration and multi-tasking.
Complex 3D graphics support delivers an optimized experience for those running DirectX 10.1 and Open GL 3.3. Other advanced features include running / managing restricted desktops, REST API control, vCenter server appliance effortless deployment, virtual network simulation, connection to vSphere/ESXi servers, and remote vSphere host power control.
Workstation Pro works seamlessly and conveniently, with no need to dual reboot or repartition the disk. VMs can either receive their own IP address or use that of the host machine. The host OS treats the VMware software like an application, with no modifications necessary to applications on the guest OS to achieve system duplication.
Users can test the software with a VMware Workstation Pro trial license. After the trial period has ended, a paid license key will be required to continue application use.
VMware was named a leader in Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) in the July 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant. Users can receive assistance via the Help tab within the application, community forums, VMware blog, FAQs, and Live Agent Chat on VMware’s website. The Workstation Pro Support Center includes knowledge base articles, getting started guides, and My VMware settings. Specific support requests can be made on VMware’s website. Complimentary support is valid for 30 days from product registration.
Where can you run this program?
VMware Workstation Pro supports several Host Operating Systems including Ubuntu 15.04 and above, RHEL 6 and above, Windows 7 and above, Oracle Linux 7.0 and above, and more. VMware Workstation Pro supports over 200 Guest operating systems including Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, Red Hat, Oracle Linux, CentOS, and more. 1.2 GB of available disk space is required for the application, with additional hard disk space for each VM. A complete list of supported operating systems and system requirements can be found in the VMware Compatibility Guide. VMware Workstation Pro software and documentation are available in English and Japanese.
Is there a better alternative?
VMware offers a free version of this software called Workstation Player with limited functionality. Workstation Player does not have a drag-able tabbed interface, one-click SSH to Linux VM, ability to create / manage encrypted VMs, virtual network renaming, snapshots, VM cloning, multiple VMs simultaneously, sharing a VM, virtual network customization, and more. Without these key features, the power of the tool is significantly lessened, making a strong case for the paid Workstation Pro version.
VMware Workstation Pro is the optimal solution for IT professionals’ virtualization needs. Its name brand credibility, robust feature set, and remote access capabilities make it ideal for your business needs. The Pro price may seem hefty to some users, but if you or your organization can afford it, this premier application will boost performance, productivity, and potentially reduce risk.
Should you download it?
Yes. IT professionals with extensive virtual machine needs, should download VMware Workstation Pro. The most beneficial product features are part of the Workstation Pro package, making the Workstation Player solution inadequate for large scale or complex VM operations. However, for more basic virtualization processes, the free Workstation Player application is the better download alternative.