VMWare announced the newest version of VMWare Fusion, its Mac virtualization product, this week. In doing so it also launched its first business or enterprise version of the popular tool for running Windows and other operating systems on Mac workstations. Dubbed Fusion Professional, the new solution has a range of features that are likely to appeal to IT professionals in both business and education.
- IT can now create restricted virtual machines where users can run Windows and installed applications, but cannot change any virtual machine settings.
- Hard drive images used as startup drives can be encrypted for additional security.
- Policies can limit or disable access to USB devices in Windows.
- Organizations can customize the VMWare Fusion help files to provide company-specific information.
- A new network editor allows IT to add and remove virtual networks and create custom virtual networking configurations – a feature that is particularly well suited to virtual machines used for demonstrations as well as software testing.
- Licensing has been optimized for enterprise environments. Fusion Professional licenses can be used with Fusion on a Mac or with VMWare Player running on Windows or Linux PCs.
- VMWare includes tools to prep for mass deployment using Apple or third-party deployment tools.
It’s worth noting that virtual machines can be managed and updated using standard enterprise technologies including Active Directory. From an IT perspective, such virtual machines are managed as if they were standalone PCs.
Fusion Professional also offer volume licensing and volume discounts. A three-year support and maintenance update package is available as well.