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VMware Workstation 16 & Fusion 12 Announced

by Juan Mulford
VMware Workstation Fusion Features

VMware Workstation 16 and Fusion 12 have been announced this week. Both products offer new features and capabilities for IT Admins, Developers, and everyone else. The key focus of these two releases is containers support, vSphere 7 Compatibility, DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1, USB 3.1 Support, and more! Workstation and Fusion are VMware’s solutions that allow you to run, from your OS, multiple OSs to build, test, or demo software and platforms.

VMware Workstation 16 and Fusion 12 have been announced this week. Both products offer new features and capabilities for IT Admins, Developers, and everyone else. The key focus of these two releases is containers support, vSphere 7 Compatibility, DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1, USB 3.1 Support, and more! Workstation and Fusion are VMware’s solutions that allow you to run, from your OS, multiple OSs to build, test, or demo software and platforms.

VMware Workstation Fusion Features

Critical Features for Workstation and Fusion

Containers and Kubernetes

As a critical and significant feature, VMware brings Kubernetes and Containers to Workstation for Windows with the CLI vctl. Currently available in Fusion, vctl allows users to push, pull, build and run OCI container images, and now also includes the ability to deploy kind Kubernetes clusters. These features will ship with Workstation Player as well as Workstation Pro, making it accessible to everyone.

vSphere 7 Compatibility

Both products have been updated to support connections to vSphere 7 through ESXi and vCenter for remote VM operation and configuration. They also provide workload mobility and compatibility between the Desktops and Data Center virtual infrastructure.

DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1

Fusion and Workstation now both support running games and apps with Direct3D version 11, otherwise known as ‘DirectX 11’, or OpenGL 4.1. VMware said this capability enables users to allocate up to 8GB of vRAM to your 3D accelerated guest to maximize gaming and 3D app performance.

Sandboxed Graphics Rendering Engine

Fusion and Workstation, now feature a new security enhancement: Sandbox Renderer (SBR). The SBR runs the virtual graphics engine in a separate thread with reduced privilege. The feature makes Fusion and Workstation more secure out-of-the-box without sacrificing performance or quality, according to VMware.

In these releases, VMware also added support for USB 3.1 virtual devices. This feature allows for USB 3.1 hardware devices to be passed into virtual machines with full driver support. Additionally, VMware improved accessibility, with their compliance with VPAT Section 508, helping users of all kinds get the full benefits of using virtual machines.

Features for Workstation Only:

Linux Host: Vulkan Graphics Rendering Engine

With Workstation 16 for Linux, there is a new rendering engine that takes advantage of the Vulkan API. This feature can deliver DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.3 to vms even when using an integrated Intel GPU.

Dark Mode UI

This release has been added an all-new Dark Mode feature to the Workstation Pro and Player UIs.

Features for Fusion Only:

macOS Big Sur Support

For the next major version of macOS 11.0 Big Sur, for both Hosts and Guests, VMware has rearchitected their stack to take full advantage of Apple’s hypervisor APIs. No longer needing kernel extensions to run Fusion on Mac, and making it more secure and ready for the future of macOS.

About this, VMware also mentions that Fusion 12 will fully support macOS Catalina at launch, and is ready to support macOS Big Sur once it’s made generally available. On Catalina, it runs the same way it always has: with our kernel extensions. On Big Sur, it will run VMs, Containers, and Kubernetes clusters by using Apple’s APIs.

eGPU Support

Fusion 12 Player and Fusion 12 Pro also now support eGPU devices. With eGPU, Fusion offloads the resource-taxing graphics rendering process from the internal integrated or discrete GPU to a much more powerful one running in a supported external enclosure.

Install from Recovery Partition using APFS

Also, newly for Fusion, APFS support installing macOS from the Recovery Partition, making it easier than ever to install macOS guests.

Updated Pricing for Workstation Pro, Fusion Pro

Fusion 12 Pro now supports individual use on up to 3 devices, which now include Windows or Linux PCs running Workstation Pro. Your Fusion 12 Pro key will unlock Workstation 16 Pro on Windows or Linux. Upgrades for existing customers are reduced to $99. Both upgrades and new licenses ($199) now give users the ability to use their license on up to 3 personal devices running either Fusion Pro for Mac, Workstation Pro for Windows, or Workstation Pro for Linux.

VMware Workstation Fusion Features Pricing

Availability

Fusion 12 and Workstation 16 will be shipping in VMware’s Fiscal Q3, which ends in October.

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