Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Patrick Hubbard, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

VMware Workstation 5: The Software Testers' Friend

For the software tester there's one invaluable tool, VMware Workstation 5

I love virtual machines. They enable me to stretch my limited hardware by letting me run more than one operating system on a single computer. But my needs pale in comparision to those of quality assurance and testing teams. They have to test tens if not hundreds of configurations and setting up individual machines is expensive in terms of both time and hardware.

For the software tester there's one invaluable tool, VMware Workstation 5, released in early April 2005, whose feature set development was driven mainly by customer requirements, according to VMware senior product manager Srinivas Krishnamurti. VMware is a highly effective virtual machine infrastructure for software and infrastructure testing environments. The company also has a server line that consolidates servers on Intel/AMD hardware. The VMware Workstation 5 beta program boasted over 230,000 downloads and provided valuable feedback and consquent improvement in this major release. The release should help IT administrators that support cross-platform applications on NetWare, Linux, Solaris x86 and Windows conserve hardware and run operating systems and those applications concurrently on the same PC.

VMware Workstation is a unique product that serves software testers well by allowing them to stage pre-production environments to test software before it goes into production. The idea of creating snapshots and multiple insulated machines on the same server is an excellent way to extend software testing and quality assurance budgets. While often used as a multi-platform workstation, VMware may be overkill in some instances since the feature set and capabilities are ideal for software testing. VMware Workstation 5 has a number of new features but its developers specifically focused on three core improvements:

  • Teams - Users can now connect virtual machines with configurable network segments to test multi-tier applications like those delivered across the Web. Using the Teams feature, testers can throttle bandwidth and network conditions to test how applications might perform. Browser-based applications are often easy to distribute to the desktop; developing and testing is difficult as 25-30% of the time can be absorbed by just setting up networks. Many enterprises don't have resources to purchase and set up test beds for a large number of potential configurations. In the VMWare test environment it's possible to throttle bandwidth to duplicate network conditions and test performance. Also, from the perspective of resource conservation, VMware Workstation includes a page-sharing feature so that memory pages can be shared across virtual machines, reducing overall memory requirements of the host PC.
  • Multiple Snapshots - VMware has enhanced Workstations' snapshot feature so that it can take multiple snapshots of a virtual PC at different times. Regression testing is much easier since finding the point before the bug was introduced is done by loading previous snapshots.
  • Cloning - Cloning virtual machines lets developers share virtual machines. You can now share not only the whole environment but the delta between virtual machines' base image, a useful feature when debugging.
Besides these major features VMware now supports 64 bit platforms from both Intel and AMD. For Linux users there's a new gtk2-based interface and support for the following additional 32-bit operating systems as guest or host: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 3, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, SuSE Linux Pro 9.2, Mandrake Linux 10, Sun's Java Desktop System, and Novell Linux Desktop 9. For developers porting applications to these new platforms VMware provides an easy to administer and flexible test environment.

If you need to test and debug software or provide snapshots of multiple x86 operating systems for sales demos, VMware is a good and unique choice. VMware Workstation 5 is available now at a suggested download price of $189 or $199 for a box version. Registered VMware 4.5 customers are entitled to a free upgrade while version 4.x and 3.x customers can get a reduced price on upgrades for a limited period of time.

Product Info

Product: VMware Workstation 5
Price: $189.00 (upgrade pricing also)
URL: www.vmware.com

Supported Linux Host Operating Systems
Supported distributions and kernels are listed below:

  • Now supporting many 2.6 kernels
  • Mandrake Linux 10
  • Mandrake Linux 9.0—stock 2.4.19
  • RHEL AS/ES/WS 4.0—32-bit, 64-bit (experimental)
  • RHEL AS/ES/WS 3.0—stock 2.4.21, update 2.4.21-15.EL, 64-bit
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 —stock 2.4.9-e3
  • Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 —stock 2.4.9-e3
  • Red Hat Linux 9.0—stock 2.4.20-8, upgrade 2.4.20-20.9
  • Red Hat Linux 8.0—stock 2.4.18
  • Red Hat Linux 7.3—stock 2.4.18
  • Red Hat Linux 7.2—stock 2.4.7-10, upgrade 2.4.9-7, upgrade 2.4.9-13, upgrade 2.4.9-21, upgrade 2.4.9-31
  • SUSE Linux 9.1—stock 2.6.4-52
  • SUSE Linux 9.0—stock 2.4.21-99
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0—32-bit, 64-bit, SP1(listed versions also supported with no service pack)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 —stock 2.4.19, 64-bit
  • SUSE Linux 8.2—stock 2.4.20
  • SUSE Linux 8.1—stock 2.4.19
  • SUSE Linux 8.0—stock 2.4.18
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 7 —stock 2.4.7 and patch 2
  • SUSE Linux 7.3—stock 2.4.10

    Note: As newer Linux kernels and distributions are released, VMware modifies and tests its products for stability and reliability on those host platforms

  • More Stories By Mark R. Hinkle

    Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Soure Solutions at Citrix. He also is along-time open source expert and advocate. He is a co-founder of both the Open Source Management Consortium and the Desktop Linux Consortium. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxWorld Magazine and Enterprise Open Source Magazine. Hinkle is also the author of the book, "Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration" (Thomson, 2006). His blog on open source, technology, and new media can be found at http://www.socializedsoftware.com.

    Comments (1) View Comments

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


    Most Recent Comments
    LinuxWorld News Desk 08/05/05 12:49:07 PM EDT

    VMware Workstation 5: The Software Testers' Friend. I love virtual machines. They enable me to stretch my limited hardware by letting me run more than one operating system on a single computer. But my needs pale in comparision to those of quality assurance and testing teams. They have to test tens if not hundreds of configurations and setting up individual machines is expensive in terms of both time and hardware.

    @ThingsExpo Stories
    "MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
    The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
    Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organi...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
    In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
    Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
    The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
    Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
    We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
    SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
    Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...