Intel, VMware Sign Virtualization Pact

By Clint Boulton (Send Email)
Posted Mar 3, 2005


Intel will add hardware support for VMware virtualization software in its forthcoming Vanderpool chip line. The companies will tie the knot, with Intel promising to support VMware virtualization software in its Vanderpool chips.

Vanderpool consists of hardware enhancements to server and desktop processors that make virtualization work much better for customers. Virtualization helps enterprises consolidate resources by running multiple instances of an operating system or application on one physical machine.

Brian Byun, vice president of alliances at VMware, said VMware expects to support the Vanderpool architecture when it appears in chips for desktops this year, and processors for servers and laptops in 2006. VMware's GSX and ESX software products will also be more optimized for 64-bit Intel systems.

Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's digital enterprise group, demonstrated how VMware virtualization works on machines with Vanderpool prototypes at the Spring 2005 Intel Developer Forum this week. The idea is to give users a taste of what's in store from the partners.

"We want to make virtualization as broadly deployed and accessible to the enterprise as possible," said Byun.

Charles King, a Pund-IT Research analyst, said the partnership will also help both companies head off competition.

"It's an indication of how seriously they take the inevitability of other players entering the commercial virtualization space," King said. "By putting up a united front, Intel and VMWare are likely hoping to prevent erosion of their share of the market."

Byun wouldn't confirm whether VMware has a similar support plan in store with Intel rival AMD, other than to say the public "can expect good things out of that relationship, as well."

Intel and VMware have been working together quietly behind the scenes for years, Byun said. But until this point, the two companies' only collaboration as been on virtualization marketing for how their products can help people partition their desktops.

Intel's pledge to improve the way its chips handle VMware virtualization software should endear both companies to the systems vendors they sell to, including IBM, Dell, and HP — vendors that aim to make servers that find better ways to utilize capacity and performance, making virtualization a hot item.

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

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