In the latest release of its virtualization software, Virtual Iron is introducing support for virtual LANs to help companies consolidate more virtual machines on a physical server.
The 3.6 version of Virtual Irons software, which uses open-source hypervisor technology, is available starting May 14.
By adding support for VLAN, the Virtual Iron software allows IT managers to cut down on the number of physical NICs (network interface cards) needed within a server to support the virtual machines, said Mike Grandinetti, chief marketing officer for Virtual Iron, in Lowell, Mass.
The VLAN reduces costs by allowing multiple networks to share a single NIC, instead of having to add additional NIC cards to support all the virtual machines within a single physical server. The VLAN in this case is created through Virtual Irons management console.
Virtual Irons latest software will support one to five virtual NICs with each virtual server, and these virtual NICs can plug into a virtual Ethernet switch, Grandinetti said.
While the updated version of Virtual Irons software is available to all its customers, Grandinetti said support for VLAN is a feature that some of the companys hosted service providers have been asking for as a way to cut down on the physical hardware needed to run a business.
"The more hardware you have, the more likely you are to have a failure," Grandinetti said. "This minimizes the complexity of having dozens of NIC cards and Ethernet ports in the server." >
The price for the Virtual Iron software will stay the same: $499 per socket for the multiserver enterprise edition.
The field of virtualization is expected to grow in the next three to four years, and companies like Virtual Iron are looking to capture a piece of the market. According to a May 8 report by Garter, the number of virtual machines deployed worldwide is expected to grow from 540,000 at the end of 2006 to more than four million by 2009.
Within the virtualization space, VMware is the leading provider of the technology, although smaller companies like Virtual Iron, XenSource and SWsoft have been looking to increase their presence by offering lower-cost virtualization software for enterprise customers.