VMware to hit SMBs with vSphere 4

Virtualisation vendor will also offer a new certification on the back of its latest platform launch

VMware will target SMBs with the launch of its vSphere 4 operating system for cloud computing, while offering a new certification to channel partners.

The vendor claims the extension of VMware Infrastructure 3 is “the industry’s first operating system for building the internal cloud”. The latest platform iteration includes vStorage Thin Provisioning, vShield Zones security, Data Recovery, Storage VMotion, Distributed Power Management, Fault Tolerance and other new or updated components.

The new offering is expected to be available later this financial quarter in six editions, with two packages targeted at the SMB space, channel director, David Blackman, said.

“There are basically two packages, one is the Essentials package [$US995 for three physical servers, or $US166 per processor], and that is really more a management package for the ESXi product, the free one that we ship. And then there is Essentials Plus [$US2995 for three physical servers, or $US499 per processor], which has the High Availability and datacentre product, which is new,” he said.

“This is a massive market and it is mostly white space, or green fields, which is a great opportunity for partners. We have had that market largely by default, but we didn’t have the messaging or the packaging. Now it is really the first time we will have that, so we will be doing a lot of marketing activities, promotions through distribution and the like around this market. The interesting thing is going to be the bundling opportunities.”

The vendor will also launch a new certification around vSphere. Distributors, itX and Ingram Micro, along with the VMware team are doing training sessions around the launch. Blackman said the goal was to have its top 120 partners trained initially, with remaining channel up to speed by the end of the year.

“For the install base out there, it is a great opportunity to go back and speak to existing customers about what vSphere can mean for them,” he said.

Blackman shrugged off concerns channel partners would consider cloud computing as a threat to their businesses.

“I think what we are doing is different from what Microsoft and Amazon are doing,” he said. “Because what we are doing is providing the infrastructure pieces that the channel has to glue together with all of our other ecosystem alliance partners; storage, servers, hardware vendors and whatever else. So we are not actually out there in the cloud ourselves. We are providing the tools to build cloud services and IT-as-a-service. I think the channel will be really happy with what we are doing because it is creating new markets of opportunity.”

Earlier this month, the vendor announced its new Partner Network program, which aims to help partners with delivering virtualisation solutions.

It offers access to the revamped information portal, extensive sales and services tools, margin opportunities and competency-based training.

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