VMware Extends Server Virtualization To Custom Server Market

motherboard server virtualization

VMware, Palo Alto, Calif., said Tuesday at the Computex Taipei 2008 international IT conference at Taipei, Taiwan, that VMware ESX and VMware ESXi, the embedded version of ESX, are expected to be available on servers and/or server motherboards from ASUSTeK Computer; Gigabyte Technology; Inventec; and the Tyan division of Mitac International, all based in Taiwan.

Prior to this, server vendors including Dell, of Round Rock, Texas; Fujitsu and Fujitsu Siemens Computers, of Tokyo, Japan; Hewlett-Packard, of Palo Alto, Calif.; IBM, of Armonk, N.Y.; NEC, of Tokyo, Japan, and Super Micro Computer, of San Jose, Calif., had started offering ESXi as an option to some of their servers, said Ben Matheson, senior director of product management at VMware.

ESXi, formerly known as VMware ESX Server 3i, is the embedded version of VMware ESX. ESXi has all the functionality of ESX Server, but was shrunk to fit in 32 Mbytes of memory instead of the previous 2 Gbytes in order to let it be embedded on server motherboards

The move could have a big impact on the channel, especially the custom system builders who purchase motherboards from those vendors and who can now make it easy for partners to implement virtual servers, Matheson said.

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"A lot of VARs buy whitebox servers from the ODMs (original design manufacturers)," he said. "Now they can be sure their servers are technically certified for ESXi."

By offering servers with VMware ESXi embedded in the motherboard, solution providers will find it easier to offer server virtualization technology to their small and midsize business customers, Matheson said. "A lot of whitebox VARs sell to SMBs," he said.

Servers from Super Micro are already available, and products base on technology from the four new vendors named Tuesday should be available in the next 60 days, Matheson said.