VMware touts virtualisation for SMEs

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VMware has released a version of its Virtualisation Infrastructure Suite designed for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Virtualisation allows firms to consolidate multiple servers or workstations on a single physical system, allowing easier management and providing hardware and power savings.

VMware would not give a specific date for the launch of the Virtualization Infrastructure Suite, stating only that it would be released in "late 2007".

The high-end 'Enterprise' version of the suite will include a power management feature to allow enterprises to conserve energy by automatically powering hardware on and off as needed.

A new update manager will also be included in the Enterprise suite allowing companies automatically to schedule the installation of patches and updates without needing to take virtualised servers offline.

The basic 'Foundation' version will cost US$995. A 'Standard' version will cost US$2,995 and include VMware's High Availability crash manager.

The 'Enterprise' package, which includes the new power and update management features, will cost US$5,750. Each suite includes a licence for up to two processors.

VMware plans to pitch the new software at small firms through a series of discounted bundles.

Each of the three kits will contain the updated VMware Infrastructure Foundation, as well as VMWare Virtualcenter Foundation Server. The package is intended to serve as a starter kit to help smaller businesses establish a virtualised system.

The SME packages are scheduled to be released before the end of the year.
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