VMware: Next Gen Virtual Platform Beats Microsoft's Carmine

At EMC's Technology Summit, a VMware exec dismissed the threat of Microsoft's Carmine virtualization manager and touted a plethora of ISV and service partner opportunities with VMWare's forthcoming ESX3, VirtualCenter2

April 24, 2006

3 Min Read
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VMware is "on track" to ship ESX3 and VirtualCenter2 by the end of this quarter and is not worried about Microsoft's pending entry into the virtualization management space, a company executive said.

In a phone interview before his presentation at EMC Technology Summit Monday, Raghu Raghuram, vice president of VMware's Platform Products, claimed the company's forthcoming platform upgrade and new consolidation add-on will deliver the most advanced virtualization capabilities in the market.

He said ESX3's four-way SMP support as well as VirtualCenter2's new Distributed Resources Manager (DRS) and Distributed Availability Service (DAS) are far ahead of Microsoft's planned Virtual Server Manager.

VirtualCenter2's Distributed Resource Manager, for example, allows customers to aggregate a group of servers and treat as one single resource to optimize resource management.

DAS, another new VirtualCenter 2 capability, allows for clustering of ESX servers so that if one ESX server fails all the virtual machines on that server are dynamically relocated to another server, the VMware exec added. Additionally, new programming interfaces will give users and partners the ability to automate at more sophisticated levels.VMware will also push a consolidated backup capability for ESX3 and VirtualCenter2 that will be licensed separately. The consolidated backup facility enables users to centralize backup so that the backup process does not use the horsepower of servers that are in production.

"Full details of the product aren't out yet but what the customers buys from VMware is the full solution -- bare metal virtualization plus virtual machine management plus VMotion plus P-to-V [physical-to-virtual] migration. It's the full suite that matters, not any one single component," said VMware's Raghuram. "It looks like Microsoft will have basic management that allows you to stop and start a VM and there seem to be a lot of products like that.

"They’ve been talking about that product for a long time," he added. "For our customer perspective, more than 75 percent of customers buy our full infrastructure suite," he added. "It's about the full solution."

VMware is an EMC subsidiary that is run independently. The company's next generation platform was originally expected by the end of 2005 but that date was revised to the first half of 2006. The VMware exec said Monday that shipment of ESX3 and VirtualCenter2 by the end of June will happen.

"We are still on track for first half," said Raghuram. "The beta testing has been ongoing since February and the betas are going well. We've been refreshing the bits and as late as last week, it's looking solid."In the meantime, VMware is busy trying to establish its platform as an open platform as Microsoft backs its own VHD format. Several weeks ago, for example, VMware released its VMDK format at no charge. VMware claims 700 vendors have downloaded it thus far.

On Monday, VMware unveiled the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Alliance with IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Citrix Systems and other ISVs to develop joint virtual desktop solutions.

As part of the alliance, VMware and its ISV partners will create pre-integrated products for customers, said Jerry Chen, director of enterprise desktops at VMware.

VMware also unveiled last year plans to give away its VMware Player and VMware Server at no charge. That gives hardware partners and channel partners an opportunity to build and resell single function virtualized appliances without paying licensing fees, VMware said. The Palo Alto, Calif. virtualization giant's sales are accelerating. VMware reported revenues of $131 million during its first quarter of 2006. In 2005, its annual revenues were $387 million, vs. 2004 revenues of $218 million and 2003 revenues of less than $100 million. The company's annualized run rate is now about $500 million, the company said.

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