Virtual Iron, Dell Sign Reseller Pact

The agreement gives Virtual Iron a new base of customers, while Dell looks to expand its virtualization offerings.

Virtual Iron, which shuffled its top management in October, has inked a reseller agreement with Dell that looks to bring its virtualization technology to larger pool of customers.

Virtual Iron, which has tried to position itself as the low-cost alternative to VMware, announced the agreement with Dell Nov. 20. The pact gives Virtual Iron access to another top OEM; it signed similar agreements with Hewlett-Packard and IBM earlier this year.

For Dell, the agreement gives it access to another virtualization software vendor for its customer base at a time when the industry is being flooded with different virtualization choices from multiple companies. In addition to VMware, which is still considered the leading provider of virtualization technology, Microsoft is moving ahead with its Windows hypervisor called Hyper-V, Citrix is offering new products after the acquisition of XenSource, and Oracle rolled out its free virtualization product, dubbed Oracle VM.

The agreement with Dell will give customers, especially SMBs (small and midsize businesses), greater access to virtualization technology, as well as management features, at a lower cost than enterprise-class offerings, according to John Kelley, Virtual Irons product marketing manager.


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"I think this agreement shows that theres no shortage of choices out there, and customers are looking for choice," said Kelley. "For Dell, I think they see an opportunity out there for their SMB customers who want some of the more advanced virtualization capabilities, like high availability and disaster recovery, but at an affordable price."

Since Virtual Iron also supports iSCSI for storage, Kelley said the companys software will offer additional benefits once Dell completes its $1.4 billion acquisition of EqualLogic.

While the official reseller agreement between Dell and Virtual Iron is new, Kelley said about a third of the companys customers already run its virtualization software on Dell servers. Kelley did not comment on whether Dell would bundle Virtual Iron software directly with its hardware, as the OEM already does with Citrix XenServer.

The agreement between Virtual Iron and Dell will go into effect this week, Kelley said.


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