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IBM Brings Virtualization And Blade Servers Together

Two of the hottest technologies in the server market come together Wednesday at the Server Blade Summit, with IBM announcing it will bundle evaluation copies of VMware Inc.'s virtual infrastructure into IBM eServer BladeCenter shipments.

Also, IBM said it's adding a McData Corp. storage area network switch module as an option for its BladeCenter product line.

Customers purchasing IBM BladeCenter will receive six-month evaluation copies of VMware ESX Server, Virtual SMP, and VirtualCenter with VMotion. VMware hopes that will give companies time to prove a business case for using a virtual server environment, which lets companies use software to divide and manage a server's capacity to run more tasks on a single machine. "The customers will be able to experience the benefits and ROI of the two products working together, and we'll be able to present a very easy business case for a full-fledged licensed solution," says Raghu Raghuram, senior director of strategy for VMware, which is owned by storage and content-management vendor EMC Corp.

VMware's ESX Server software is designed for partitioning, consolidating, and managing computing resources. Virtual SMP support allows virtual machines to span multiple physical processors, making the virtual machines suited for resource-intensive applications, Raghuram says.

VirtualCenter provides users with a central point of control for the virtual computing resources, and VMotion enables migration of live virtual machines for dynamic load balancing and zero-downtime maintenance, he says.

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