HP and IBM bundle VMware rival's virtualization system

Virtual Iron (VI) has announced that IBM and HP will be bundling its Xen-based virtualization system with their server hardware.

It follows last month's announcement by market leader VMware that the major server vendors would be including an embedded version of its ESX hypervisor with their systems.

The software bundle for both IBM and HP consists of Virtual Iron's flagship Extended Enterprise Edition software pre-installed, together with the company's top support package. The software comes with the IBM x3550 or x3655 rack-mounted models for US$12,400 and US$13,100 respectively, or the x3500 tower at US$13,800. The HP hardware consists of the Intel-based ProLiant DL380, the AMD-based ProLiant DL385 at US$10,447, or HP's C3000 blade chassis with two blades plus StorageWorks 1000 Modular Smart Array at US$33,114.

The bundles are available immediately in North America through Tech Data's network of value-added resellers. Virtual Iron's Mike Grandinetti said that a similar bundle for the UK and Europe will follow shortly. He also said that Gartner's research shows that customers are satisfied with arch-rival VMware's products but are less satisfied with its configurability and cost. VI claims to sell its virtualization software for one-fifth the cost of VMware's equivalent.

VI said the pre-configured virtualization software bundle supports server consolidation and management of multiple Windows and Linux operating systems on a single server or across multiple servers, and are designed for easy deployment and management. According to VI, the software includes LiveConvert, an automated X2V conversion software solution powered by PlateSpin that enables workloads migration across physical, virtual, blade and image-based infrastructures in any direction. It combines the Xen open source hypervisor with virtualization services and policy-based automation capabilities, said VI, and uses the latest processor hardware-assists for near-native performance.

The software supports up to 128GB of RAM, up to eight virtual CPUs, and the ability to virtualize server platforms with up to 32 physical CPUs. According to Virtual Iron, it also offers LiveProvisioning, a so-called zero-touch automated deployment capability that eliminates the need for physical installation or management of virtualization software on virtualized physical servers. It also eliminates the need for clustered file systems when migrating workloads, claimed VI, which expands its high availability, disaster recovery and capacity management capabilities.

"These IBM-Virtual Iron solution bundles provide enterprise-class capabilities for server virtualization and virtual infrastructure management," said Grandinetti. "Combining the scalability and energy-efficiency of IBM System x with Virtual Iron's comprehensive virtualization capabilities gives our value-added resellers the ability to respond directly to the demanding requirements of their diverse customer base."

"Customers are coming to find that virtualization is a great way to unlock the power of industry leading System x rack and tower servers and Virtual Iron has a proven virtualization and management offering that provides a cost-effective way to increase the utilization of your servers while increasing the availability of your solution, " said IBM System x VP Jim Northington.

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