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VM6 Software's VMex Virtualization Suite: From The Data Center Into The Branch

VM6 Software VMex is changing the face of virtualization much like desktop software application suites did for that market back in the 80s. The software provides a virtualization suite based on Hyper-V that offers virtual, shared storage, advanced clustering, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and virtual machine management. As with application suites, VM6 Software is offering something that can't found with the individual components: simplicity. With VM6 Software, small- to-medium businesses (SMBs) gain an all in-one IT infrastructure. They no longer need to hire experts, spend huge budgets on integration or pay for specialized software.

Organizations also can also dramatically reduce their capital outlay for getting into virtualization. According to COO and founder, Eric Courville, VM6 Software charges $3,995 per host, with two licenses for a redundant configuration and 25 percent per year for support and maintenance. A competitive solution would require four servers, at least: a primary server housing the VM and a secondary for fault tolerance, the management server, VDI broker and an external SAN. The price of these could run well over $100,000.

Clearly VMex isn't intended for the large enterprises. Large enterprises simply don't have the same need for simplicity and integration that you find in SMB. But within the SMB, VM6 Software should find a rich market. The introduction of VMex begs the question, though, as to what other virtualization suites might we see. One possibility is a virtualized all-in-one branch box . Dubbed the "God Box" by Gartner several years ago, all-in-one branch boxes encompass the core functions that any branch would require such as branch office telephony, routing, WAN optimization and file and print services.  The goal is to simplify remote office deployments by allowing organizations to configure and drop-ship a single appliance with all the core functions needed by the office.

The basic components are already available on the market. Siemens introduced UC-based virtualization for service providers in March. Virtualized WAN Optimization have been offered by Blue Coat and Expand. Software-based routing can be found from Vyatta. None, though, have yet been integrated for the branch, but you could install them on a server running a hypervisor. Riverbed provides such a platform with through its Riverbed Services Platform virtualization technology. Cisco offers multi-function branch routers with its ASR router line.

By virtualizing and integrating these technologies into a common suite, organizations will gain a number of benefits. By packaging the tools together, organizations could see cost reductions. They would also be able to deploy the essential software and functions out to the branches faster by simply pushing them over the wire. A generalized platform would allow them to accommodate a broad range of applications.  Finally, there's the simplicity of configuration and management that comes with an integrated platform. Will virtual suites become the mainstay of the industry? We certainly think for certain environments they'll gain a strong following, but let us know below as to virtual suite you'd like to see for your organization.