VMware, Softricity build virtualization momentum

Interest in server virtualization is increasing as vendors introduce products to help businesses optimize their data centers and reduce costs. VMware, an EMC company, rolled out a new beta version of VMware Workstation.

Application virtualization vendor Softricity announced that the University of Utah Health Care is using its SoftGrid software.

Six-year-old VMware Workstation, a software development tool, allows enterprises to create multiple virtual machines. It supports 32- and 64-bit x86 operating systems and Linux, Windows, NetWare and Solaris x86 operating environments. Application developers can use the software to speed development that would otherwise be spent configuring server environments.

The new version of VMware Workstation supports AMD's 64-bit Guest Support for AMD64 Technology and Intel's EM64T systems with Vanderpool technology. This allows developers to test systems with both 32- and 64-bit operating systems on the same box.

It also supports two-way virtual SMP, in which a virtual machine can span two processors, and Enhanced VMware Virtual Machine Importer, which allows developers to open Symantec Ghost images in virtual machines without any modification. VMware Workstation has an enhanced command-line interface from which developers can automate repetitive manual tasks. The new CLI lets developers snapshot a virtual machine and rewind to a selected snapshot.

VMware Workstation 5.5 is in beta now and available for download.

The company expects it to be generally available by year-end for US$189.

Softricity announced that the University of Utah Health Care, who has been using the company's application management software, will be expanding its use to as many as 5,000 PCs and servers.

University Health Care started using SoftGrid in 2003 to manage the applications running on its terminal server farm. By doing so, they were able to perform change management to applications without cumbersome regression testing.

SoftGrid encapsulates Windows applications and their associated files and DLLs into virtual services on a server or PC so they are protected from one another.

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