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VMware Workstation is a virtual machine software suite for x86 and x86-64 computers from VMware, a division of EMC Corporation. This software suite allows users to set up multiple x86 and x86-64 virtual computers and to use one or more of these virtual machines simultaneously with the hosting operating system. Each virtual machine instance can execute its own guest operating system, such as Windows, Linux, BSD variants, or others. In simple terms, VMware Workstation allows one physical machine to run multiple operating systems simultaneously. Other VMware products help manage or migrate VMware virtual machines across multiple host-machines.
Besides bridging to existing host network adapters, CD-ROM devices, hard-disk drives, and USB devices, VMware Workstation also provides the ability to simulate some hardware. For example, it can mount an ISO file as a CD-ROM, and .vmdk files as hard disks; and can configure its network adapter driver to use network address translation (NAT) through the host-machine rather than bridging through it (which would require an IP address for each guest-machine on the host network).
VMware Workstation also allows the testing of Live CDs without first burning them onto physical discs or rebooting the computer. One can also take multiple successive snapshots of an operating system running under VMware Workstation. Each snapshot allows you to roll back the virtual machine to the saved status at any time. The ability to use multiple snapshots makes VMware Workstation useful as a tool for sales-people demonstrating complex software products, and for developers setting up virtual development-environments and virtual test-environments. VMware Workstation includes the ability to designate multiple virtual machines as a team which administrators can then power on and off, suspend, and resume as a single object — making it particularly useful for testing client-server environments.