VMware Prez Unveils VMware Player, Solutions Focus

At VMworld 2005, the company's top executive unveiled a new utility called VMware Player for the desktop and publicly demonstrated its next generation ESX 3 and VirtualCenter 2 platform for the first time.

Before thousands of partners and customers gathered for its annual conference in Las Vegas, Greene said the new VMware Player, ESX 3's four-way SMP support and VirtualCenter2's Distributed Resource Scheduling and Distributed Availability Services will move the value proposition well beyond server consolidation to disaster recovery.

Dynamic Resource Sceduling, described by some as a poor man's disaster recovery, and others as data center defrag, significantly raises the bar, said Greene, a technologist who founded the company seven years ago.

ESX3 and VirtualCenter2 are in limited beta testing and are not expected to ship until the first quarter of 2006.

Sponsored post

"Were going to solutions," said Greene, during her brief address at the conference on Wednesday. "We're just introducing a low cost way to share virtual machines."

The VMware president acknowledged increasing competition in the core virtualization space from Microsoft and Xen but said the variety of new solutions coming for VMware will extend its wide lead in the market.

According to sources who attended Partner Day on Tuesday, VMware expects to double sales to $400 million during this fiscal year. VMware claimed that 3,500 people are attending its second VMworld this year, up from 1,200 last year.

Greene also noted that VMware and several partners including BEA, Cisco and Citrix next month will launch the first set of projects developed as part of the community source licensing program announced in August.

As part of that effort, customers and partners have access to some of VMware's source code and interfaces to optimize their applications for VMware's virtual infrastructure.

As it tries to establish its virtualization technology as the industry's de facto standard, VMware announced VMware player, available now at no cost, that allow customers to run and share virtual machines on any Windows and Linux desktop.

It is similar to the approach Adobe took when making Adobe Reader free as a way to push forth its PDF format. Unlike VMware workstation, VMware Player will not allow customers to create virtual machines. it enables customers to evaluate pre-build application environments being built by ISVs such as Oracle on its virtual machines, as well as beta software, on Windows and Linux desktops, she said.

To prove its value, Greene handed out to a random attendee an iPod Nano preloaded with her personal desktop using VMware player.

While Greene lauded Microsoft's recent announcements of new licensing requirements for the virtual era, she hinted that the software giant should rethink its effort to make its Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) the de facto standard for storing virtual images. VMware is working with the DMTF working committee on creating common interfaces.

"Virtual machine file formats need to be out there royalty free," she said.

One VIP partner said VMware is going in the right direction by giving ISVs hooks to the kernel, tightly integrating its ESX and VirtualCenter platforms and offering automatic load balancing and dynamic reallocation of resources in the data center.

But he bemoaned the fact that he cannot get his hands on the beta yet. "We're partners and should be able to have access to it," said Rick Litowski, senior systems engineer for Computer Resolutions, a VMware partner and integrator in Bridgeport, Ct. "Partners should be part of the freedback process."