Virtualisation specialist VMware will launch three new products at its upcoming VMworld Europe 2008 show - the first of VMware's annual tech-fest to be staged outside the USA - one of which addresses the Apple Mac market.

News has leaked out that VMware will launch Dunes Lifecycle Management, a product VMware inherited when it acquired Dunes Technology last September.

Under its Dunes incarnation, the product enabled the provisioning of virtual servers across the datacentre and provided a way for IT staff to manage the lifecycles of user-requested virtual servers. Benefits included assistance with compliance as well as reduced time, costs and complexity for small to large businesses.

Features included the ability to manage end-user’s requests for VMs; an approval process that could be disabled to provide a full self-service portal; automatic infrastructure provisioning based on organisational and logical criteria rather than technical ones; enforcement of best practice provisioning process, and delegation of simple server operations to end users.

Also due for launch at VMworld Europe is Stage Manager, said to be a tool that can automate the passage of pre-production systems to production-readiness, so allowing faster infrastructure changes to be made.

Further details are sketchy at this stage, but those who saw an early version at VMworld in San Francisco in September last year reported that it is similar to Lab Manager and runs on Virtual Infrastructure 3. It uses some Lab Manager features such as differencing disks and network fencing, a method of allowing multiple instances of a VM to run with the same IP and MAC addresses.

There'll also be a new product for Mac users. Importer will allow users of VMware Fusion to import virtual machines created by third party products such as Parallels Desktop and Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac. Importer is in beta - enrol here.

More details will become available at VMworld Europe to be held at the end of February.