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VMware starts virtual machine club for developers and ISVs

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Is virtual machine software development getting you down? Well, buck up, little camper. VMware has an "online virtual infrastructure resource center" (OVIRC) just for you.

The OVIRC, otherwise known as a web site, is VMware's latest attempt to make virtual machines more palatable to the software world at large. The site has the developer basics you might expect such as technical guides and product updates. It also has some goodies you might not have thought about like pre-tested sets of applications ready to run in a virtual machine

These pre-built apps really seem to be the star of the VMWare Technology Network (VMTN) site. Starting June 13, packages will arrive from a host of big names, including BEA, Oracle, Red Hat, Novell and MySQL. Developers will be able to download these pre-built, pre-configured packages for free and begin working with the software. Shared VMware and Oracle customers will already be familiar with this arrangement, as both companies announced a similar deal around Oracle's 10g database and server software last year.

"Entire application environments can be pre-installed, pre-configured and 'saved' within a best-practice virtual machine," VMware said. "Developers can eliminate many of the traditional stumbling blocks associated with testing, evaluating and deploying new software by using these pre-built applications within virtual machines."

Also on June 13, VNware's VMTN subscription service will go live. This service, which costs $299 per user annually, will offer developers a price break on certain software and a number of tools for working with virtual machines. In particular, developers will receive copies of VMware's Workstation, GSX Server and evaluation ESX Server clients. VMware, the partitioning subsidiary of EMC, also hopes developers will share information and use the company's testing products via the VMTN service.

Improving developer interest around its partitioning products is the obvious next step for the company which has shot up from around 100 workers to 1,000 in the last couple of years. VMware has managed to establish itself as the server consolidation and virtual machine testing standard in the x86 world. As such a standard, it now needs to foster deeper interest in its products and nurture the most vibrant developer community possible. ®

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