VMware to Virtualize IBM Blade Servers


IBM has agreed to offer evaluation copies of VMware’s
applications with its BladeCenter system in an attempt to bring the promise
of virtualization software on blade servers to life.


Financial terms of the agreement, expected to be announced at the Server Blade Summit in
Santa Clara, Calif., were not disclosed. Brian Byun, vice president of
alliances with VMware, said customers purchasing IBM BladeCenter will
receive six-month evaluation copies of VMware’s ESX Server, Virtual SMP and
VirtualCenter with VMotion.


Virtualization software is a technological approach in which multiple copies
of a certain piece of software are run on one machine, making a single
server function as though it were several computers. This often allows
enterprises to realize greater resource efficiencies and save money.


Specifically, VMware enables multiple copies of an operating system, such as
Windows and Linux, to run on one machine through virtual partitions.


While IBM has been reselling VMware software on its eServer xSeries and
BladeCenter systems since 2002, customers previously had to request
evaluation copies of VMware software, Byun said.


The enhanced deal calls for the VMware software to automatically come on IBM
blades, thin servers that slide in and out of the BladeCenter chassis. If customers decide VMware software is a good fit after the evaluation period,
they may begin licensing the applications from IBM.


The program could boost VMware’s nearly ubiquitous presence on servers in
the market because IBM is easily the blade server system leader, according
to the latest research from IDC, which found that IBM has 49.5 percent of
the blade market.


HP is considered the second leading blade server provider. Although Byun said the IBM
deal was not exclusive, he would not comment on whether or not VMware is
crafting a similar arrangement with its Palo, Alto, Calif., partner, HP.


Moreover, Byun said the customers who purchase blade servers and
virtualization software are often the same clients.


“Buyers who buy blades and the people who buy virtualization are very
synonymous,” Byun said. “They tend to be looking for efficiency and a
standardized way of doing things. We find that people that try it have a
propensity to go deploy it.”


This is the second major partnership extension for VMware this month.
Earlier, Intel said it
will add hardware support for VMware virtualization software in its
forthcoming Vanderpool chip line.


Separately, IBM announced a new McData storage area network (SAN)
switch at the Server Blade Summit. Co-developed by McDATA and
QLogic, the device integrates with data centers that run McData software.
Moreover, IBM also secured new BladeCenter customers, including St. Jude
Children’s Research Hospital, Siebel and FusionStorm

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