In an effort to expand the deployment of its virtualization applications on IBM hardware, Big Blue software partner VMware announced Wednesday an agreement with IBM to standardize the bundling of evaluation copies of its virtual infrastructure software onto all eServer BladeCenter shipments.
Virtualization allows a single piece of hardware to run multiple operating systems. Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware Inc. hopes the deployment of virtualization applications on blades is another major step toward a more streamlined modern data center.
Under terms of the agreement, customers purchasing IBM BladeCenter will receive six-month evaluation copies of ESX Server, Virtual SMP support and VirtualCenter with VMotion from VMware.
ESX Server is VMware's data center-class virtual infrastructure software for partitioning, consolidating and managing computing resources. Virtual SMP support allows virtual machines to span multiple physical processors for resource-intensive enterprise applications. VirtualCenter is designed to provide customers a central point of control for their virtual computing resources. And VMotion technology enables live virtual machines to be migrated for load balancing and maintenance.
IBM hopes the VMware applications will make running BladeCenter cheaper for its customers by reducing the size and complexity of their IT infrastructure. According to Brian Byun, VMware's vice president of Alliances, the marriage of virtualization and blade servers is a natural one because at their core, both are striving for the same thing -- efficiency.
"Customers and IBM have come to understand that blades and virtualization software are very synergistic," Byun said. "Virtualization software takes the efficiency benefits of blade servers to another level."
"IBM and VMware share the same vision of increasing efficiency and reducing complexity for our customers," said Diane Greene, president of VMware, in a statement. "Coupling blades with VMware virtual infrastructure goes a long way toward helping enterprise customers better contain, monitor and manage server workloads. This combination further strengthens the joint IBM/VMware offerings."
The agreement expands an existing VMware and IBM relationship. Big Blue has been offering VMware virtual infrastructure on IBM eServer systems for nearly three years, and VMware provides the partitioning technology for IBM's Virtualization Engine technology.
"Virtualization is getting more mainstream," Byun said. "IBM is out there pitching the benefits, users get educated and that explains the growth we've been seeing."
Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Luke Meredith, News Writer