VMware gives virtualisation away

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VMware has launched a free version of its server virtualisation software aimed at increasing the adoption of virtualisation technology.

VMware has launched a free version of its server virtualisation software aimed at increasing the adoption of virtualisation technology.

The entry-level beta of VMware Server allows users to provide hosted environments for operating systems like Windows, Linux, Novell and Solaris.

According to VMware senior director for developer and ISV products, Dan Chu, the last two years had seen Fortune 100 companies come around to the idea of virtualisation, but this had yet to penetrate into SME and small businesses segments.

“With VMware server we are looking to completely change the landscape of who has access to virtualisation and how it can and will be utilised,” he said

Through making virtualisation available to every end user, mainstream adoption of virtualisation would follow and a clearer path to VMware's enterprise class products would be created, Chu said.

Essentially an upgrade to the company’s GSX Server, VMware Server would additionally feature support for 64 bit versions of Oracle, SAP or SQL and Virtual SMP and installs similar to a standard PC application, he said.

While VMware Server would be available via free direct download, the vendor would continue to charge for direct support via a subscription service, Chu said.

Despite potentially wiping out the low-end sales potential, partners would benefit from the initiative through being able to resell support for the product.

“With greater adoption the market will expand,” he said. “Once a customer has set up one or two virtualised servers it’s a very short step to selling in 50 or 100 or 400.”

With some three million users worldwide, VMware would continue to offer its Workstation virtualisation product for desktops as a distinct product line, Chu added.

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