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VMware Rolls Out Enhanced Virtual Server Software

A key feature lets a single virtual server span multiple processors.
As it promised several weeks ago, VMware Inc. Monday launched ESX Server 2, the latest version of its software for creating virtual servers on Intel platforms running Windows or Linux. VMware also is now shipping VMware P2V Assistant, a migration tool designed to make it easier to transition physical servers into virtual servers.

A key feature of ESX Server 2 is Virtual SMP, which lets a single virtual server span multiple processors. Virtual SMP will let virtual servers run more resource-intensive apps, such as Oracle 9i, SQL Server, and Microsoft Exchange Server. ESX Server 2 is also the first version of ESX Server to offer VMware Control Center management software, as well as support for IBM and Hewlett-Packard blade servers. With Control Center, users will be able to centrally manage the levels and limits of CPU, networking, memory, and disk input/output of their virtual servers from a single interface.

P2V Assistant is designed to take a "snapshot" of an existing physical server and use that information to create a virtual server within VMware. The tool can be used to migrate Windows, Linux, or Unix servers onto an Intel server running ESX Server 2. "Server consolidation can be a time-consuming process because system administrators have to shut the server down," says Michael Mullany, VMware's senior director of product management. "P2V lets you create a file that you can send over the network from one server to another."

ESX Server 2 is priced starting at $3,750 for a two-way server. Pricing for Virtual SMP starts at $1,250 for a two-way server.