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VMWare vSphere 4 Offers SMBs "Always On IT"

Positioned as the first cloud operating system, VMWare's vSphere 4 provides SMBs with virtualization options for as little as $166 per processor.

Positioned as the first cloud operating system, VMWare's vSphere 4 provides SMBs with virtualization options for as little as $166 per processor.According to Joe Andrews, VMWare's SMB Group product marketing manager, the drivers that lead SMB to adopt virtualization differ from those prompting enterprises. "For large enterprises you get immediate ROI," he says. "For SMBs it [virtualization] is still compelling, but with tens of servers rather than hundreds, the numbers don't add up as quickly so the focus has been business continuity and availability."

An entry-level price point of $166 per processor for the VMWare vSphere 4 allows smaller companies to consolidate servers without breaking the bank and enable the high availability "always on IT" that VMWare claims is the aspiration of all SMBs.

VMWare's 3 new SMB products break into two groups with the break point being 20 physical servers.

  • $166 per processor -- VMware vSphere 4 Essentials: All-in-one solution for small offices to consolidate and manage many application workloads while reducing hardware and operating costs. (fewer than 20 physical servers)
  • $499 per processor -- VMware vSphere 4 Essentials Plus: Adds VMware High Availability and VMware Data Recovery for a complete server consolidation and business continuity solution for the small office IT environment. (fewer than 20 physical servers)
  • $2,245 per processor -- VMware vSphere 4 Advanced: Scalable, strategic consolidation and availability solution that includes VMware VMotion, VMware Fault Tolerance, VMware Data Recovery and VMware vShield Zones. (more than 20 physical servers)

Beyond the price point, VMWare's partner industry leadership and partner network may be reassuring to business owners and IT managers. The new products are fully supported by VMWare partners and the vendor has announced specific disaster recovery and business continuity solutions from SunGard and BlueLock. One notable absence from the partner network: Amazon EC2.

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