Each virtual machine instance can execute its own guest operating system, including Windows, Linux, BSD variants, and others. In simple terms, VMware Workstation allows one physical machine to run multiple operating systems simultaneously, whereas other VMware products help manage or migrate VMware virtual machines across multiple physical host machines.
VMware Workstation supports bridging to existing host network adapters, CD-ROM devices, hard disk drives, and USB devices (including USB Isochronous devices such as webcams, microphones etc.), and 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 allows the testing of live CDs without first recording them onto physical discs or rebooting the computer. Multiple successive snapshots of an operating system running under VMware Workstation can be taken, and the virtual machine can be restarted in the state it was in when any snapshot was saved. This is useful for software developers and testers, for environments at risk from malware infection, and for demonstrating software.
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.