VMware Software Will Consolidate Applications, Services

With more enterprises looking for solutions that enable them to consolidate applications and infrastructure services running on diverse operating systems, VMware Inc. has released VMware ESX Server 1.5.

As an increasing number of enterprises look to implement server solutions that allow them to consolidate applications and infrastructure services running on diverse operating systems, VMware Inc. on Monday released the latest version of its enterprise server consolidation software.

VMware ESX Server 1.5 is targeted at data centers and includes support for SCSI reservations, which enables the clustering of virtual machines inside the same system for development and test purposes, or between systems for high availability, said Diane Greene, president and CEO of the Palo Alto, Calif., company.

The new product also includes: support for up to 64 concurrent virtual machines with adequate memory and storage resources; support for the physical address extension standard for larger memory on the physical computer and system memory up to 64 GB of RAM; new resource management capabilities for regulating the amount of disk I/O bandwidth used by each virtual machine; and improved memory management techniques for configuring and running virtual machines with total memory greater than the amount of physical RAM on the system.

"Server consolidation is becoming paramount among businesses looking to get the most from their technology investments," Greene said. "This is especially true as most servers are being used at only 10 percent to 35 percent capacity. VMware server products help businesses manage these investments better than before and enable them to do more with less."

Among customers deploying ESX Server is National Gypsum Co., which is running 20 virtual machines on a four-way system, handling everything from customer relationship management applications and security to application development and testing, said Alan Thomas, a senior technical consultant for National Gypsum.

The release of ESX Server 1.5 follows IBMs announcement in early December that ESX Server had been optimized to run on Intel Corp.-based eServer xSeries systems from IBM, including the x350 and the x370.

Late last year, Sun Microsystems Inc. said it was developing virtual server solutions designed to help enterprise customers add efficiencies for back-office operations and Web services. The Palo Alto, Calif., company said it planned to add new "service container" technology to the virtualization features of Solaris 9, due for final release later this month.