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Monthly Archives: September 2007

Virtual Appliances Update

[photo of Srinivas Krishnamurti]

Posted by Srinivas Krishnamurti
Director of Product Management and Market Development

Greetings from VMworld 2007! Before the week gets really crazy, I wanted to jot down a couple of
thoughts to document the exciting progress around Virtual Appliances since my blog on
Enterprise Software 2.0 at VMworld 2006.

ISV Momentum

When we first started talking about virtual appliances in
June 2005, we had six appliances from leading ISVs and OSVs listed on our web
site. Since then virtual appliances are
fast becoming a better way to distribute software for both evaluations and
production use. ISVs are shipping
virtual appliances because it reduces their development, testing and support
costs and reducing time to market. Customers are more receptive to receiving software as virtual appliances
because it is easier for them to deploy and manage. The combination is leading to more ISVs
creating virtual appliances. We now have
~600 virtual appliances available in the Virtual Appliance Marketplace (VAM). Many of
our larger ISV partners are jumping on the band wagon – BEA, Business Objects, IBM and McAfee all have their virtual appliances
available in the VAM. Another compelling
virtual appliance that was recently added is Lefthand Networks Virtual
SAN Appliance
. It converts local
storage into a clustered iSCSI SAN. Now that is a cool concept… And the great thing is that there are more
virtual appliances in the pipeline so be sure to check the VAM often for new
virtual appliances.

Open Virtual Machine
Format (OVF)

Think about all the CDs you own and how many different
artists they represent and then imagine if every one of those artists said that
his/her music can only be played on the CD player they sell. If you listen to more than one artist, you
will end up with multiple CD players at home forcing you to constantly switch
between them depending on what music you want to listen to. Sounds painful, doesn’t it? Oh, wait, it doesn’t end there. What if you want to listen to your music on
the long commute in to work or on a long trip? How many CD players does your car need to support? Oye vaaye! Thankful we don’t live in that painful world
because of standards! You can now buy and play any CD (software app
packaged as a virtual appliance) on any CD player you own at home (data center)
or in your car (remote office). Think of
OVF as a similar format for virtual appliances. We worked with Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft and XenSource to come up with a
standard way to package and distribute virtual appliances so that our customers
can run them on any virtualization platform. As a customer you have the freedom of choice to buy a virtualization
platform based on price and functionality and not be locked with one vendor
because the content you need is only available in one non-standard format. There is a tremendous amount of useful
information here.

JeOS Update

I recently talked about Just Enough Operating System (JeOS –
pronounced “juice”) and how it will simplify IT management headaches, reduce
patch frequency and improve security. I’m very excited to note that Ubuntu will soon ship Ubuntu JeOS, a
slimed down Ubuntu Server OS that is optimized for VMware virtual
appliances. Besides their JeOS being
small and optimized for VMware, Ubuntu’s kinder and gentler distribution terms
will be very appealing to ISVs who want to distribute Virtual Appliances. I applaud the folks at Canonical for taking
the lead on providing an OS optimized for virtual appliances. It will be interesting to see how the other
OSVs respond to this news.

VMware Tools

Lastly, I wanted to plug the effort around open sourcing VMware
Tools. This is relevant to virtual
appliances because it allows ISVs to provide Tools for the JeOS they include
with their application. It gives ISVs
the freedom of choice to pick any JeOS they want and still be able to ship a
virtual appliance that is optimized to run efficiently on VMware

Hope to see some of you at VMworld 2007.

Introducing a Special Promotion for Small and Medium Businesses


Posted by Ben Matheson
Director of Small and Medium Business

This week marks two super important milestones. First, the
start of NFL regular season football (Go
Patriots!!). Second, a new promotion we are launching for SMB customers. I
thought the promotion (certainly not the football season) would be breaking
news but turns out some bloggers are quicker on the draw than I am and have
been posting about it. So today I want to open our “playbook” about what we are
doing and also talk about the next evolution in VMware’s product offerings targeted
at SMB’s.

This week we are “kicking off” a new promotion called VI3
Foundation targeted at customers that want the advanced functionality of VI3
but for smaller deployments. For $3,000 a customer gets VirtualCenter Server
2.0 plus three 2-processor licenses for VMware Infrastructure 3 Starter
Edition. So for $3,000 an SMB gets our hypervisor based virtualization platform
(ESX Server) and our fully functional management product VirtualCenter.
For more information you can go to our website.

I said this was an evolution and it is. VMware was the first
company to introduce a free virtualization product with VMware Server in Summer
of 2006. We were the first commercial vendor to have a free P2V/ V2V product
called VMware Converter Starter Edition that reached general availability back
in January, 2007. Finally a key piece of our strategy is virtual appliances and
any customers can go out to Virtual Appliance Marketplace and easily download trial virtual appliances including
3rd party software. VMware was the first to enable these
technologies for free. We had some followers (as all market leaders do) but we
were the first company that believed that enabling customers to have free
virtualization products was important. Can’t beat the value of free.

VMware also launched a management product in February, 2007 called
VirtualCenter for VMware Server. This management product is designed to manage
VMware Server and for $1,500 you can buy and manage three physical servers with
unlimited virtual machines on those physical boxes. You can manage incremental
physical boxes for $400 per physical machine. With VirtualCenter for VMware
Server you can centrally manage and monitor your virtual machines and physical
servers and rapidly provision VM’s from a library of images. Again it’s a solution which provides great
value to customers.

We also have had a version of our high end virtualization
product named VMware Infrastructure 3 Starter for over a year. The product
costs $1,000 and gives customers the true power, reliability and security of ESX
Server, our hypervisor based virtualization product. This is the base for our
new VI3 Foundation promotion.

As many customers, partners and press have noted, customers love
the high end functionality that VMware Infrastructure 3 provides including
technologies like VMotion, VMware High Availability, DRS and VMware
Consolidated Backup. The belief that SMB customers need only basic
functionality is not true. Sure some do, but many want all the goodness that
VI3 Enterprise Edition has to offer. And generally customers tell us they start
seeing a return on their VI3 investment almost immediately. Customers are
seeing great value from reducing costs, improving manageability and improving
the availability of their systems. Anytime a customer sees a very fast return
and can save both capital and operating expense almost immediately there is a
great value.

More info…

We will be announcing more news for SMB customers over the
rest of 2007 so stay tuned and you will see more coming. If you are a medium or
smaller business and are looking for more info you can go to www.vmware.com/solutions/smb and
get more detail.

Thanks and I’ll be blogging soon,