High Time For Virtualization Vendors


Software virtualization, which allows customers to run multiple versions of
software on a single computer to save space and cut costs, is getting a big
dust-up this week.


VMware, Cassatt and Surgient announced new products or partnerships to
fortify their positions in this multi-billion-dollar market.


VMware said today it has combined two core virtualization tools into one
product to help customers create virtual machines from physical machines,
other VMware virtual machine formats and third-party formats such as
Windows.


The software, VMware Converter 3, is a combination of the company’s P2V
Assistant and Virtual Machine Importer, said Bogomil Balkansky, director of
product marketing at VMware.


VMware P2V Assistant takes a snapshot of a physical system and changes it
into a virtual machine so that administrators don’t have to reinstall and
reconfigure applications.


VMware Virtual Machine Importer is a free tool that takes virtual machines
from different sources and converts them into destinations for VMware
software.


Balkansky said it just made sense for VMware to combine the highly
complementary transformation products and offer them with its Virtual
Infrastructure software going forward.


Now bound together and offered with VMware’s Virtual Infrastructure
packages, the software creates VMware virtual machines from physical
machines running Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista, Windows
2000 and Windows NT 4 SP4+.


The software performs these tasks while the source machine continues to
operate so as not to disrupt computer services. Remote cloning features
allow machines to be cloned from a remote console without manually using a
boot CD.


The offering also transforms VMware virtual machines from Microsoft Virtual
Server and Virtual PC and Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery formats.


VMware will provide a free version of the product, which allows conversions
one at a time, and an enterprise edition that will perform multiple
conversions at the same time.


This product will be offered at no additional cost to customers who have
current licenses for VirtualCenter Management Server. Converter 3 will hit
the market within the next six months.

Balkansky also said VMware launched ESX Server 3.0.1 and VMware
VirtualCenter 2.0.1.


Both refreshes support for Windows, Red Hat, SUSE and Sun Solaris 64-bit
operating systems, and work with more servers and storage arrays.


Support for multiple 64-bit operating systems is a major step forward, because customers are increasingly tuning to the expanded memory and processing capacity of 64-bit systems to handle large data workloads.


In other virtualization news today, server automation startup Cassatt
partnered with XenSource, which virtualizes servers
based on the Xen open source hypervisor.


Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cassatt agreed to sell
XenEnterprise virtualization software alongside its software for
automating physical and virtual servers.


Cassatt said in a statement the combination should be attractive to
customers concerned about consolidating servers to cut rising datacenter
costs.


Cassatt’s Cross-Virtualization Manager (XVM) software, which already works
with XenSource competitor VMware’s ESX and VMware Server, will support
XenEnterprise 3.0 in the next release of the product later this year.


Lastly, Surgient, which makes software to improve virtualization rollouts
in their development phase, completed version 5 of its Virtual Lab
Management Applications.


Such “virtual labs” facilitate development, quality-assurance testing,
training, sales, marketing and support functions for challenging software
configurations.


Erik Josowitz, vice president of marketing for Surgient, said such software
is necessary at a time when companies are snapping up virtualization
software with little advance planning.


Version 5 scales to thousands of virtual Microsoft and VMware servers,
providing image and policy-based resource management, dynamic pooling of
virtual resources, scheduling and calendaring, remote access and enterprise
reporting tools.

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