VMware Update Marks Virtualization March

Enterprise server software heavy VMware unveiled its latest virtualization software this week, promising wider infrastructure capabilities in its third-generation VMware Infrastructure 3 software suite.

The VMware release — featuring four new virtualization tools for distributed files, scheduling, availability and consolidated backup — marks the evolution of virtualization in corporate server rooms, where partitioning and server consolidation are advancing to truly on demand management capabilities. Virtualization is a way to use software to manage computing resources, such as servers and hardware, so that individual machines may function and appear as more than one, and resources can be allocated dynamically.

“This is the dawn of the virtualization era, and virtualization is going to be huge,” Endpoint Technologies Associates Founder and President Roger Kay told TechNewsWorld, adding that eventually all corporate computing, including storage and clients, will likely be virtualized. “These [technologies] are just beginning to come into their own.”

Third Time’s the Charm

Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware said its third generation virtualization software built upon the first-generation virtualization partitioning capabilities, and second-generation server consolidation capabilities provide infrastructure-wide management “independent of the application/operating system workloads” and underlying hardware.

“VMware Infrastructure 3 transforms the role of hardware and software so that the business can truly think in terms of deploying services on a pool of continuously available hardware resources,” said VMware President Diane Greene.

The new software will allow management of whole server farms as a shared utility that may be dynamically allocated to different business units or projects, VMware said.

Proper Allocation and Price

The new VMware virtualization software is highlighted by the high-end capability to move workloads around for larger enterprises, and now comes at a better price for smaller organizations interested in VMware’s ESX Server, Illuminata Senior Analyst Gordon Haff told TechNewsWorld.

Haff said while the initial appeal of virtualization a few years back was the consolidation of servers, the technology is now serving more as a “de-coupling layer” that allows better control and utility from hardware and software.

“Now, you’re really seeing it as this layer that removes some of the hard link between hardware and applications,” he said.

Principle and Practice

Although the latest virtualization software from VMware holds the promise of better control, management and automation, it is unlikely enterprise administrators will really be able to “head off and play golf,” according to Haff.

“In practice, the workloads won’t be moved as dynamically and aggressively as they could be in principle,” he said. “IT shops will adopt things like this in stages, at a certain pace.”

Haff also remarked on VMware’s move to remain atop the virtualization software market.

“With this version, in principal, you can set up very dynamic computing,” Haff added. “VMware continues to be pretty aggressive, and keeps rolling out new products.”

Endpoint’s Kay said the benefits of virtualization — the ability to consolidate servers and use them or throttle them back on-demand — are clear to corporate IT buyers.

“This really is the wave of the future,” Kay said. “It’s definitely on the move.”

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