VMware Frees Up Server Software
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VMware Monday plans to introduce a beta release of VMware Server, a free, hosted virtualization product for Windows and Linux servers designed to let users run several operating systems on one machine.
Users who have never used virtualization before will be able to run virtual appliances for a number of Web servers, database servers, application servers and operating systems with this entry-level tool, said Dan Chu, senior director of developer and ISV products at VMware.
While VMware Server is designed as an entree into a still largely untapped market, Chu also said VMware hopes the new software is something of a stepping stone to more serious enterprise products, such as the company's ESX Server.
VMware Server provides a direct upgrade path to VMware's enterprise-class products ESX Server and VirtualCenter, which allow companies to consolidate many servers and provide business continuity.
The software, the finished version of which will be available to the public this fall, supports any standard x86 hardware, almost any 32- and 64-bit Linux and Windows operating system and Virtual SMP.
VMware Server is also the first available server virtualization product with support for 64-bit virtual machines and Intel Virtualization Technology (VT), hardware platform enhancements designed to enhance virtualization software.
With VMware issuing free virtualiztion server software, the pioneer is finding itself in vogue these days with the likes of Xen and SWsoft, virtualization specialists who have released open versions of their company's products in the hope that they will drive development of the proprietary ones.
Chu said VMware's move isn't about keeping up with those smaller vendors, but about broadening virtualization software adoption in general.
He also said VMware Server is a commercial product in the sense that the company's server customers want enterprise-class support from VMware as a separate subscription offering.
He also pointed out that VMware has already provided an open version of its software in the form of the Community Source edition.