By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2006-03-08 Print this article Print

On-chip virtualization is designed to bring much of the work of software hypervisors used by such virtualization vendors as VMware and Microsoft to the hardware level, increasing the reliability and performance of virtualized environments. VMware President Diane Greene, who took the stage with Gelsinger, said in an interview later that bringing virtualization to the hardware level is a key element for driving the development of the technology.
"When you can treat a machine like a file, there is so much you can do with it," Greene said.
For its part, VMware, owned by storage giant EMC and based in Palo Alto, Calif., is looking to expand the capabilities of its VMotion technology by enhancing its automated capabilities. VMotion enables users to move workloads between virtual machines without having to take down the systems. In the next upgrade later this year, VMotion will offer greater automation of this capability, Greene said. Currently there is some script work involved when moving workloads between virtual machines, she said. With the upgrade, that work will be automated. In addition, the enhanced software will offer automated failover through cluster management capabilities, she said. Click here to read more about automated capabilities in the x86 space. Desktop management software vendor Altiris also is preparing to move into the virtualization space, focusing more on virtualizing applications. Jeff Adcock, director of strategic alliances for the Linden, Utah, company, said early implementations of its Software Virtualization Solution already are underway and the offering will be rolled out later in the first half of this year. Altiris solution will help streamline software testing and development, eliminating conflicts when updates and patches are needed. Altiris will offer a free "personal use" version of the software to enable potential users to try it before deciding to buy. It also will support Intels VT offering, Adcock said. The combination of Intels virtualization technology and Altiris software will give administrators greater control over the security and management of the PC while still allowing users the flexibility they want in their systems. The tension between the desire for greater security and greater freedom is exacerbated by the growing movement toward mobile computing, Adcock said. Using the Altiris technology, administrators will be able to bring the security capabilities currently done on the network into the system, protecting the network even when the PC is not in use, he said. The software, in a protected virtualized environment, will be able to continuously scan for dangers to the network and keep the computer off the network until it is safe to bring it back on. "VT enables that functionality," Adcock said. During the virtualization panel discussion, Mike Neil, product unit manager for Windows virtualization for Microsoft, said the next version of its Virtual Server software—dubbed Virtual Server R2 SP1—will include support for Intels VT as well as greater cluster capabilities, which will help with planned and unplanned downtime. It also will offer greater support for Linux operating systems, something that users who wanted greater choice were demanding, Neil said. "Linux will really be a first-class citizen" in the next version of Windows Virtual Server, he said. Windows VS R2 SP 1 will go into beta in the second quarter, he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


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