VMware upgrades virtual server software

In an effort to help IT managers better consolidate large Intel-based server farms, VMware Inc. on Monday introduced an enhanced version of its virtual computing software, VMware ESX Server 1.1.

The software allows users to partition physical servers internally to create multiple servers running separate tasks within the same system, according to representatives for VMware, based in Palo Alto, Calif.

Improvements to Version 1.1 of VMware's ESX Server include an improved installation process, added support for RAID and network controllers, security enhancements, compatibility with remote installation tools, and an improved interface with Web-based management tools, according to VMware representatives.

VMware is targeting its ESX Server 1.1 product at companies interested in using internal server partitioning to consolidate large Intel-based server deployments. As part of this effort, VMware representatives are touting the reliability of ESX Server 1.1 to ensure complete isolation of every virtual server from neighboring virtual servers within the same system.

Successful isolation of virtual servers running within a single, physical server is vital when it comes to guaranteeing security in a virtual server environment, according to those familiar with the technology.

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PWC) is using VMware's ESX Server 1.1 to consolidate servers at 26 of its sites into a single site located in Tampa, Fla., according to VMware representatives. In doing so, PWC will go from 650 servers down to less than 350, creating considerable savings, VMware representatives said.

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