Release: VMware Workstation / Player / ACE 7.1 and Fusion 3.1

VMware has just released the first minor update for all its hosted virtualization platforms: Workstation / Player and Fusion.

Workstation, Player and ACE 7.1 (build 261024) include the following new features:

  • Support for 8 vCPUs / VM
  • Support for up to 2TB virtual hard drives
  • Support for OpenGL 2.1 (Windows Vista and 7 guest OSes)
  • Support for OVF 1.1 specifications
  • Support for Intel Advanced Encryption Standard instruction set (AES-NI) to speed up encryption/decryption performance
  • Autologon for Windows guest OSes

  • Guest OS applications direct launch from host OS (through Unity mode)
  • Support for multiple new Linux distributions (RHEL 5.5, Ubuntu 8.04.4 and 10.04, Fedora 12, OpenSUSE 11.2, Debian 5.0.4 and Mandriva 2009.1)

As evident, there’s not a single new feature related to ACE, the security wrapper that VMware offers since December 2004.
The last time VMware seriously updated ACE was in May 2007, with the 2.0 release.
At this point it’s easy to guess that VMware may soon discontinue the product, possibly along with Server, and the two will join Stage Manger.

Fusion 3.1 (build 261058) shares some of the new capabilities with Workstation 7.1, like the support for 8 vCPU and 2TB virtual hard drives or the support for OpenGL 2.1, plus some specific ones:

  • Support for overlapping Unity windows in Exposé and Dock Exposé
  • Import and export OVF packaged virtual machines and upload to vSphere with bundled OVF Tool 2

Interestingly, Fusion 3.1 doesn’t share the same list of newly supported guest OSes with Workstation 7.1: Red Hat Enteprise Linux (RHEL) 5.5, Fedora 12, Debian 5.0.4 and Mandriva 2009.1 are not in the list.