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VMware's new suite raises the virtualization bar

Quoting from eChannelLine

VMware's new software suite represents "a major advance" over previous versions of its virtualization technology, according to Charles King, principal analyst for Pund-IT.

"It is not just from the server; but it is also incorporating tools for virtualizing networks and storage as well."

The first generation of VMware's Infrastructure was a very much a processor specific, virtualization tool, he said.

"The second generation [of Infrastructure] included some management capabilities that they hadn't had before. With Infrastructure 3, they have significantly extended not just the capability of the server, but they have staked the claim to extending the virtualization across the IT infrastructure."

Also, Infrastructure 3 allows for first time the virtualization of computing environments dominated "top to bottom" with x86 servers, stated King.

Before the introduction of VMware's current product that kind of "overarching virtualization" had only been available at the enterprise level for Unix and mainframe based systems, he continued.

"One of the really serious issues with the x86 platform and servers is that x86 servers tend to be relatively underutilized -- in comparison to Unix servers, certainly in comparison to mainframe systems. And virtualization gives customers a way of increasing the workloads and utilization efficiency of x86 systems in a way that was uncommon three or four years ago, or four or five years ago, on the VMware side."

VM has jumped ahead of what the competing platforms from Microsoft and Xen "are currently offering or will be able to offer over the next couple of years," said King.

At that point in the future VMware's Infrastructure will not be able to sit on its laurels as the dominant market player in virtualization, he stated.

"Most of the large systems vendors are supporting [the open source oriented] Xen project and people are starting to deliver services and management software for it. It is still in an early stage of development. But many people believe that when the project becomes more mature it will offer very serious competition to VMware."

The ability to run enterprise applications on a single server has not yet dampened overall server sales, although one cannot rule it out in the long run, stated King.

"Virtualization has taken off in the past year and there has been some softness in sales of x86 servers over the past year. I don't think that anyone has drawn a line between the two. I think you could probably make the argument that much of the softness in the hardware market is really more due to the concerns about the economy. But you know VMware and other virtualization technologies allow business to squeeze much more performance and avoid any unnecessary hardware purchases."

Virtualization also follows in the spirit of "green computing" by helping organizations to reduce their electricity costs with fewer servers, King added

"By distributing multiple applications on a single server instead of the one application per server model that was common a few years ago, companies are also saving money in the amount of electricity that they are spending. For a midsized or large enterprise that can really add up over a year, especially with the cost of power going up the way it has."

The original article can be found, here.

Published Monday, June 19, 2006 6:58 AM by David Marshall
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