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Enterprise level virtualization now free of charge says VMware

VMware today announced that its venerable virtualization platform, VMware Server, is now available free of charge. VMware is making the virtualization platform free after five vigorous months of beta testing. The company says that its technology is tried and true, and used by many of today's top companies. According to the press release:

Users can easily progress from VMware Server to VMware Infrastructure 3, the third generation of the industry-leading infrastructure virtualization software suite that allows entire industry-standard infrastructure farms to be managed as a shared utility and dynamically allocated to different business units or projects. The suite is designed to deliver comprehensive virtualization, management, resource optimization, application availability and operational automation capabilities in an integrated offering.

Interestingly, Microsoft also made its own Virtual PC 2004 application available for free this week as well. While Virtual PC 2004 and VMware Server are definitely two very different applications, it's clear that competition is there and the end user benefits. Users who wish to try out virtualization will find that VMware Server will offer more advanced features than is available in Virtual PC 2004.

As an enterprise level virtualization platform, VMware Server has some of the following features:
  • Experimental SMP, allowing a virtual machine to use multiple processors
  • Support for Intel's VT Technology
  • Support for 64-bit guest operating systems
  • Ability to capture entire state of a virtual machine and roll back at any time with single click operation
VMware Server is available immediately at no charge. VMware did not say how long it plans on making VMware Server available for free.  Beta releases of VMware Server were announced back in February of this year, but the more recent press release claims the final version is free.


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RE: This story needs to clarify.
By daveyd on 7/13/2006 12:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
Virtual PC runs like crap? Hmmm...My host PC is 3.0Ghz with 1.5GB of RAM running XP. I run 2 instances of 2003 Server and 1 instance of XP on top of my host machine and it runs flawlessly.


RE: This story needs to clarify.
By Nekrik on 7/13/2006 2:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
I've run Virtual PC and Virtual Server both for sometime, and while it has its bottlenecks so does VMWare, most things can be optimized to work very well, and performance with the latest releases has not been an issue at all.

I'm a little curious about another posters comments.

"I also like the ability to create virtual networks, I find this extremely useful. (Its completely missing in Virtual PC, Parallels Workstation, etc)."

Shared Networking might be the default for Virtual PC, but Virtual Switch is avaialable to accomplish a virtual network, and up to four NICs can be assigned (actually a single 4 port card). Create a loopback adapter on the host and assign it to one of these for guest/host communication.

Also, I think someone mentioned a 512MB limit for Linux, was this a trial version or something? You create the machine config prior to installing the OS, and have the freedom to set it to what you want provided it's avaialable on the host (to the limit, which I don't recall, but 2 or 4 GBs I think).


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