Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Vaibhaw Pandey, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, 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
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. 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.
    WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
    Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
    "Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
    "There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at 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. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
    "MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    "IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
    It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
    In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
    Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
    Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
    A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
    To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
    An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
    When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
    Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote 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. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.