VMware Roars at VMworld

As our intrepid review czar Peter Varhol stated in yesterday's Redmond Report, VMware is indeed planning to hit it out of the park at VMworld in San Francisco this week. In fact, the company is hoping to hit it out of the park again and again.

The spate of announcements the virtualization virtuoso has made at VMworld this week begins with the company's release of source code for most of its tools to the open source world as part of VMware's Open Virtual Machine Tools project. The tools are virtualization components to help improve virtual machine performance. Check them out here.

VMware is also working with open source vendors like Novell, Red Hat and Ubuntu to integrate its tools into those vendors' installation process. Virtualization meets open source, everybody's happy.

VMware also unveiled its ESX Server 3i, the company's next-generation thin hypervisor that will be built into server hardware from manufacturers like Dell, HP, IBM and NEC. This direct integration with server boxes promises to simplify and speed up deployment and management of virtual machines.

The company also announced it has just acquired Dunes Technologies, which offers process orchestration software for managing virtual environments. "Dunes has developed a powerful orchestration platform that will allow us to automate the entire virtual machine lifecycle from requisition to de-commissioning, while complementing existing VMware management and automation solutions such as VMware Lab Manager and the recently announced VMware Virtual Desktop Manager," said Raghu Raghuram, VMware's vice president of products and solutions.

It's not just new tools and new deals: VMware also reports that more than 300 academic institutions are now participating in its Academic Program. As part of this program, qualified academic institutions get VMware tools for free to use for research and educational purposes. VMware also plans to roll out an online Academic Community Center later this year. The online center will include courseware, research papers, discussion groups and other resources to promote virtualization higher education.

It's a logical progression for the company. "VMware itself grew out of academic research and many of our earliest customers were at universities," said Dr. Stephen Herrod, vice president of technology development at VMware. "The VMware Academic Program is our way of contributing back to academia by making our products available free-of-charge for research and teaching."

When do you suppose the first Bachelor of Science in virtualization be awarded?

Seems like virtualization will soon touch every aspect of computing. How are you using virtualization? Send me a real message and let me know at llow@redmondmag.com.

AMD Ups Ante in Chip Wars
Launching another volley at Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) this week released the next generation of its Opteron quad-core server processors.

It's been a tough battle AMD has fought with archrival Intel. During earnings reporting season a few weeks ago, we reported that AMD had endured its third losing quarter in a row.

It's not all bad news for the Sunnyvale chippers, though. Server shipments and market share are creeping up. Sill, Intel isn't making it easy, as it just announced its own new line of Xeon dual-core chips.

While Intel still has a solid lock on laptop and desktop chips, AMD has friends in the server world. It first rolled out the Opteron line in 2003 to lukewarm response. This time, since some of the major server manufacturers like HP, Sun and IBM already run their servers with AMD chips, they're more likely to do so again.

What's your take on the chip wars? Are you solidly one way or the other? Check in with me at llow@redmondmag.com.

States Lobby for More Microsoft Supervision
Microsoft just can't avoid the hot seat. While it has dodged regulatory and antitrust bullets here and there, a consortium of six states are now petitioning the federal courts to extend judicial supervision by five years.

The group of six states argued that Microsoft needed more federal judicial supervision to keep it from annihilating any competition to the Windows juggernaut. The gang of six, which includes California and Massachusetts, formally requested a federal judge in Washington to extend the supervisory provisions of the 2002 decree, which are currently scheduled to expire on Nov. 12 of this year.

The feds and Redmondians agreed on the original decree after an appeals court ruled that Microsoft had indeed acted illegally in its aggressive protection of its Windows monopoly. If the decree expires as scheduled, Microsoft will have greater freedom to crush competition from Web-based software, particularly those competing with its Internet Explorer browser.

Microsoft had no comment on the request for an extension.

Where do you stand on Microsoft's activities -- fair competition or gold medalist in the antitrust Olympics? File your motion with me at llow@redmondmag.com.

Three Months, 1 Million iPhones
In just three months since its Hollywood-like premiere, Apple has sold more than 1 million iPhones. That's quite a landmark, and a major victory for the hype-a-palooza that preceded the iPhone's rollout.

Even with some technical and security setbacks -- plus an embarrassing price cut that reddened the faces of early customers -- the iPhone continues to be one of the hottest digital accessories. By comparison, it was almost two years before a million pairs of ears were plugged into an iPod -- iCaramba!

Apple's iCEO Steve Jobs reports that he hopes the iPhone will become Apple's third largest revenue stream, following the Mac and the iPod. He has also stated that customers who paid the original price of $599 when it came out last June will get a $100 store credit. That should help soothe the angered masses of early iPhone adopters. He further states his expectations of selling 10 million iPhones in 2008, digging into the realms of the BlackBerry and Palm Pilot.

Have you succumbed to iPhone mania? Do you use something else? Send me an i-mail -- I mean an e-mail -- at llow@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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