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VMWare surge puts virtualization in the spotlight
VMWare's stellar stock offering Tuesday shows that virtual machines are starting to add up to real dollars.

Virtual machines, the technology that VMWare helped pioneer, allow one computer to act as many, whether it's a Mac running Windows and the Mac operating system at the same time or a massive server running multiple instances of Windows and Linux simultaneously. Once a niche technology, virtualization is expanding rapidly as businesses try to get more bang for their server buck.

And VMWare has made itself nearly synonymous with the technology.

"It's almost like Xerox or Kleenex," said longtime industry player David Marshall, who authored the book Advanced Server Virtualization and also writes the VMblog.com, which is not affiliated with the company.

Investors rewarded the company's prowess Tuesday, sending shares of the stock as high as $55.50 a share, closing at $51, up from $29 a share where the stock was initially priced late Monday.

"It further validates not just what VMware is doing, but the entire virtualization space," Marshall said.

Although VMWare is the clear leader in the market, it is far from the only company eyeing virtualization.

Both open-source rivals and commercial software makers see a chance to win business customers by offering similar features to VMWare, but at a far lower price.

"Virtual Iron is starting to make a name for itself, as is XenSource," Marshall said, noting that the rivals are currently selling their products for about a fifth of what VMWare charges.

Read the rest of the article, here.

Published Tuesday, August 14, 2007 10:16 PM by David Marshall
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