Virtual Iron, Fabric7 Announce Virtualization Bundle

Server vendor Fabric7 Systems will be the first OEM to offer Virtual Iron's new virtualization software.

Virtual Iron Software, which has been looking to increase its market share in the virtualization space, will start bundling the latest version of its virtualization software with hardware from server vendor Fabric7 Systems.

The two companies will announce this new joint agreement on Dec. 19. Fabric7, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., will start shipping its Q80 systems with Virtual Irons software in January.

The agreement between the two companies comes shortly after Virtual Iron rolled out the latest version of its virtualization software on Dec. 11.

In addition to offering virtualization software that will support unmodified Windows and 32- and 64-bit Linux operating systems, Virtual Iron is also using these two announcements to position itself as a low-cost alternative to VMware.

By bundling virtualization software with Fabric7s servers, which already offer hardware partitioning and virtualization of the I/O, the two companies are looking to offer IT administrators a cost-effective way of managing an enterprise data center by allowing greater consolidation of applications, said Michael Grandinetti, Virtual Irons chief marketing officer, in Lowell, Mass.

Grandinetti described the agreement as "a very natural extension" of the Virtual Iron 3.1 rollout.

For Fabric7, the agreement gives the company a chance to target more customers in the financial services sector, where virtualization has started to become a must-have for Wall Street firms that handle large amounts of transactions, said Brian Sweeley, Fabric7s vice president for marketing and business development.

"The primary benefit is to drive up utilization, while driving down costs in areas like power and cooling," Sweeley said.

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Fabric7s Q80 systems are powered by Advanced Micro Devices Opteron dual-core processors. Each server can support up to eight processors and 16 cores, and can be partitioned per chassis into two-, four- and eight-socket configurations. The servers, which can run Linux from Red Hat or Novells SUSE unit, Sun Microsystems Solaris 10, or Microsoft Windows environments, offer up to 128GB of memory.

When Virtual Iron announced the latest version of its virtualization software, the company announced it would also support AMD-V, AMDs hardware-assisted virtualization.

The Q86 systems with the bundled Virtual Iron software will cost between $25,000 and $70,000, according to Sweeley. The company also has plans to bundle the software onto its Q160 systems in 2007.

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