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3/4/2003
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VMware Expands Relationship With HP

The vendor aims to extend the reach of its server-partitioning software.

VMware Inc. expanded its relationship with Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday in a move designed to extend the reach of its software for partitioning Intel-based servers. Although VMware and HP have had joint customers in the past, companies now will be able to buy VMware's ESX Server and GSX Server software from HP and tap HP Services for installation, support, and training.

Companies use VMware's software to divide Intel-based servers into a greater number of virtual servers. This process is useful when consolidating workloads from multiple Intel servers and for creating independent software-testing environments on a single box.

VMware software runs on HP ProLiant servers with one to eight processors. By the end of June, the software will be available on HP's blade servers as well. The deal with HP follows a similar relationship VMware struck with IBM last August, when IBM began reselling and supporting ESX Server on its Intel-based xSeries servers.

ESX Server has its own operating system and typically runs on higher-end, multiprocessor Intel servers. Although ESX runs natively on the hardware, it also creates another operating system to manage. GSX Server runs atop Windows, Linux, or Novell on smaller servers.

Microsoft entered the Intel-based server-partitioning market in February when it acquired VMware rival Connectix Corp. Microsoft plans to integrate Connectix's partitioning software into Windows to let companies consolidate multiple applications on a Windows server and migrate years-old apps to a newer operating system such as Windows Server 2003. This server virtual machine could be available from Microsoft as early as the end of this year.

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