VMware is upgrading its ESX Server hypervisor and its Virtual Infrastructure 3 management software. The customized small and midsize business
(SMB) product bundles are designed to help I.T. admins deploy virtual infrastructure. VMware said it expects to release the upgrades later this year.
Virtualization is enabling companies of all sizes to reduce the cost and complexity of I.T., noted Ben Matheson, director of SMB at VMware. For SMBs -- companies with fewer than 100 servers or 1,000 employees -- Matheson said that means optimizing existing I.T. investments while providing virtualization benefits such as disaster recovery, high availability, simplified I.T. management, and reduced energy costs.
"Deploying virtualization translates into better service levels, and it enables customers to spend less on I.T. and reinvest these savings in their businesses," Matheson said in a statement. "The new VMware Infrastructure packaging delivers the features, functionality, and training that will help enable SMBs to more rapidly experience the value of virtual infrastructure."
SMBs Crave Virtualization
Virtualization deployments among SMBs is expected to double during the next two years, according to Yankee Group data. Gary Chen, a Yankee Group senior analyst, said virtualization has become a mainstream technology force, influencing I.T. architecture decisions for companies of all sizes.
"For SMBs, this means evaluating the A-to-Z benefits of virtualization, such as server consolidation, business continuity, and disaster recovery for use on current I.T. assets while planning for future growth," Chen said. "We see virtualization adoption as a trend in the SMB space that will continue to aggressively grow over time."
With regard to VMware's new bundles, Chen said the VMware Infrastructure 3 Acceleration Kits provide a cost-effective way for SMBs to get started with virtualization quickly while enabling the organization to scale as their business needs evolve.
VMware's Next SMB Hit?
The SMB bundles are based on the latest release of VMware Infrastructure. The product brings new offerings designed to decrease power consumption, eliminate manual tracking and patching of virtual infrastructure, and increase overall infrastructure availability.
From VMware's perspective, the new products and features that are ideal for SMBs include VMware ESX Server 3i and Guided Consolidation. VMware ESX Server 3i, VMware's next-generation thin hypervisor, is designed to help SMBs deploy virtualization in their environments, while VMware's Guided Consolidation is designed to help companies migrate from physical servers to virtual infrastructure using a step-by-step wizard.
VMware's success with enterprise clients has helped solidify the market's understanding of the notable benefits of x86-based virtualization, according to Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT. "It's only natural that the company has focused its attention of the needs of SMBs, who suffer many of the same challenges as enterprises but are more closely wedded to x86-based solutions than larger organizations," he explained.
"With its new Infrastructure Bundles/Accelerator Kits," King added, "VMware aims to deliver virtualization solutions designed to meet the specific needs and financial requirements of smaller businesses."
Pricing for the VMware Infrastructure 3 Foundation Acceleration Kit starts at $2,995.