VMWare Embedded and Ubiquitous

Just weeks after Microsoft Released to Manufacturing its Windows Server 2008 product line, it continues to struggle to actually get its new Hyper-V virtualisation technology (previously code-named Viridian) off the ground and shipped to customers. This is no time to be stalling!!! Hyper-V is expected to land within the next 3 months.

Today the current industry de-facto standard for virtualisation, Palo-Alto based firm VMWare announced key software deals with server industry giants Dell, HP, IBM and Fujitsu, signing new agreements ensuring that its ESX 3i hypervisor will be embedded into servers produced by the four hardware manufacturers, beginning within the next 60 days.

VMWare’s statement puts a very dark cloud over Microsoft’s delayed release of Hyper-V. Microsoft has been struggling to get its virtualisation products off the ground over the past few years with stiff competition primarily from VMWare and Xen both of which are cross-platform.

These four key hardware vendors, again the de-facto standard for most IT data centres around the world, along with this new agreement will likely ensure that VMWare remains not just the de-facto standard for some time to come.

Must admit, personally, I’ve only been using the existing Microsoft Virtualisation technologies to-date including Virtual PC and Virtual Server R2 Enterprise Edition which I’ve found completely reliable although not as functionaly rich as VMWare’s offerings.

Have Xen installed on my OpenSuse Linux box at home but never actually got round to doing much more with it.

I was at a Microsoft Developer event for the launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 a few weeks ago in Belfast, where we were given a demo of Hyper-V and must admit it really did look quite good. Microsoft was able to explain the architecture they had selected for Hyper-V and the advantages it should bring over VMWare… but they’re late in delivering and, as you can see from today’s announcement, late really isn’t good enough.

Anyway, the company I work for has signed an Enterprise Agreement with VMWare for use internally, and we have an increasing number of customers adopting it also – so, admittedly a little late to the game on this one – VMWare is one of the next key skills I intend to develop in the next few months. Have been using Microsoft Virtual Server R2 within a small development environment I have with W2k3 Active Directory, Exchange 2003 , SQL Server 2005 and SharePoint 2007, which I think I’m going to migrate to VMWare ESX Server machines instead as part of my self-learning on this. As well as this I’ve just today made recommendations to use VMWare to host three new development servers and three new production servers for one of our new internal projects. Hopefully will get them!

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