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VMware Updates Delayed

VMware plans to make available a free entry-level virtualization server this quarter but will delay the delivery of its highly anticipated ESX3 and VirtualCenter 2 until the second quarter, sources said.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based EMC subsidiary plans to announce Feb. 6 its VMware Server, a free offering that runs on Windows and Linux and can be used in production at no cost without support. Interested customers can then buy support subscriptions for a fee.

Similar to VMware Player, VMware Server will be available for download and is designed to expose new customers to the benefits of virtualization. VMware Player, unveiled last fall, allows customers to run any virtual machine on the Linux or Windows desktop.

VMware Server, in contrast, is designed for server use and provides a GUI wizard for creating virtual machines. It supports Windows, Linux, Solaris, NetWare and 64-bit guest operating systems, as well as Intel VT technology and VMware’s SMP.

VMware said it has not briefed partners on the new offering yet but insisted the channel won’t be cut out of the sales equation, since partners can sell support subscriptions for VMware Server and continue to sell the more full-featured ESX server, which runs on bare metal and won’t be cannibalized by the new offering.

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