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Dell's Virtual Strategy

Dell last week took its first steps toward creating an adaptive-enterprise environment for its server products.

New configurations of its two- and four-processor servers that use storage systems from EMC Corp. also will include virtualization software from VMware Inc., an EMC subsidiary. Dell will use VMware's technology to let customers dynamically move applications to different physical servers based on business needs. Virtual machines can run different operating systems and apps on the same physical server. Customers will be able to increase capacity while reducing server sprawl, says Pete Morowski, Dell's VP of software development.

Both IBM and Hewlett-Packard use VMware technology as part of their larger on-demand computing platforms. "Virtualization has picked up a lot of steam in terms of customer demand," says Mark Melenovsky, an analyst at IDC, and Dell's move acknowledges that it "needs to have a stronger message."