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Intel to certify VMware servers

Quoting Ars Technica

For years, server administrators have been using virtualization software to rapidly test new deployment environments, and to consolidate server hardware by putting several server operating systems on a single physical machine. However, the latter option has not yet entered the mainstream. Intel is hoping to change all that with an announcement today that it is providing VMware certification for many of its motherboard and server products.

Intel announced the formation of the Intel Enabled Server Acceleration Alliance (ESAA), a new program that allows hardware and solution vendors to certify their servers with various software applications, including VMware. According to Kirk Skaugena, Intel's vice president in charge of the Server Platforms group, the program offers a "big revenue opportunity for the channel and a way to expand the benefits of VMware products to more and more companies around the world."

Many systems vendors have already jumped on the bandwagon, including ACER, Bull, Compusys, HCL, Itautec, Gateway, Lenovo, LangChao, Maxdata, MPC, Powerleader, Samsung, Verari, and WiPro. ESAA certification includes validation for many different types of software and hardware configurations, and is not strictly limited to VMware. Open source applications, databases, HPC software, VoIP and other telephony software, backup, and security are also options for ESAA certification, according to the Intel whitepaper. ESAA also helps firms with post-sales support through TSANet, a third-party nonprofit industry consortium that allows companies to share customer support resources.

The explicit support of VMware, along with Intel's own hardware virtualization efforts, shows that the company is serious about promoting virtual computing. Not only does virtualization promote Intel's higher-margin server products, but it justifies the move to dual- and quad-core CPUs. Many organizations are concerned about excessive power and cooling requirements for their server rooms, and consolidating multiple servers on one physical machine makes sense from a power-saving point of view. While it was the fact that traditional MHz scaling has stalled that forced CPU vendors to move to multi-core designs, the move may wind up being beneficial for the IT industry increasingly focused on server consolidation.

Read and discuss on the original, here.

Published Monday, October 02, 2006 3:36 PM by David Marshall
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