VMware Launches 64-bit Support For Virtual Infrastructure 3

64-bit operating systems migration

VMware, the Palo Alto, Calif., virtualization software leader, Monday released an interim update of its recently released Virtual Infrastructure 3 platform, which now offers full support for 64-bit operating systems including Windows, Red Hat, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Sun Solaris 64-bit operating systems.

In addition to offering 64-bit support, the updated software, VMware ESX Server 3.01 and VMware VirtualCenter 2.01, offers support for more server and storage hardware, localized support in Japanese and German and tools to enable a non-disruptive upgrade process.

For example, the updated software allows customers to use VMware's VMotion technology to upgrade from VMware ESX Server 2.x hosts and storage to VMware ESX Server 3.0.1.

The updates are available at no cost for download to customers that have VMware Infrastructure 3 support and subscription contracts, the company said. VMware announced Virtual Infrastructure 3 in June and began shipping the platform over the summer. VMware also announced Monday its next-generation P-to-V tool called VMware Converter 3.

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The tool, slated to be available in the next six months, will provide faster physical to virtual (P-to-V) and virtual-to-virtual conversions of workloads though VMware's centralized management console, VMware said, noting it will be training partners on the conversion tool as it prepares to go to market.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company is also working with Intel to make its virtualization platform -- and application workloads that ride on top of it -- easier for customers and partners to deploy.

To that end, Intel and VMware announced Monday a plan to bring validated VMware software stacks and services to the Intel Enabled Server Acceleration Alliance (ESAA) program.

The year-old ESAA program is designed to deliver to partners and end customers certified and validated ISV stacks and full solutions on Intel hardware. The validation service is executed by Intel's Enterprise Platform and Services division.

Steve Dallmer, director of sales and distribution at Intel, said validating VMware across Intel Xeon 3000, 5000 and 7000 server solutions will ease the sales and deployment process for resellers and solution providers.

"ESAA allows for streamlined certification and validation of ISV software on Intel hardware," Dallman told CRN. "With this, a reseller can go to the Intel web site, identify as an Intel authorized partner and sign a license fee and can go to a customer and say they have certified VMware running on [the hardware]. This gives them support they need to get help from VMware. "

In spite of the expected competition from Xen-based offerings coming to the market, VMware is the market leader and its virtualization software is in high demand, partners say.

VMware is at the top of Coast Solutions Group's list of fastest growing technologies. CSG is a network of more than 100 solution providers across the nation.

"Requests for VMware are up as we are receiving many requests for server consolidation projects," said Paul Freeman, CEO of CSG, Santa Barbara, Calif. "Among individual product deployments, VMWare is near the top of our demand list.