Feeds

VMware unveils 32MB version of ESX Server

Hypervisor flash

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The rumors about VMware putting ESX Server on dietary supplements have been confirmed. The virtualization darling today revealed ESX Server 3i - a super-thin hypervisor that will be built into the memory of servers from companies such as Dell, HP and IBM.

We've been writing about the so-called ESX Lite for some time now, particularly in conjunction with Dell. The Round Rock-based server maker plans to ship an appliance-like machine later this year that will include a hypervisor in flash memory. Such a move should lead to performance improvements by cutting application install and boot times and by letting vendors strip hard disks out of their servers to lower power consumption.

While Dell has been the leading Tier 1 proponent of this idea, rivals appear ready to follow. VMware outed the big boys mentioned above along with NEC and Fujitsu as ESX Server 3i customers. No word yet on Sun Microsystems.

According to VMware, the 3i software will ship as a 32MB hypervisor. That's way down from the multi-GB installs of standard ESX Server today.

"Based on VMware ESX Server which has set the standard for a production proven, stable and mature hypervisor, VMware ESX Server 3i is a 'bare metal' hypervisor that partitions a physical server into multiple secure and portable virtual machines," VMware said. "VMware ESX Server 3i would be the only hypervisor on the market today that does not incorporate a general-purpose operating system, which frees it from the many challenges involved in maintaining a general purpose operating system."

The use of "would" there seems to indicate that Server 3i is imaginary. But that's not the case if you read the rest of VMware's statement. The company promises to ship the software by the end of this year and to make it the core of VMware's product strategy.

"VMware ESX Server 3i is the new architectural foundation for VMware Infrastructure 3 . . . VMware customers will be able to easily implement the entire suite of VMware Infrastructure 3 products on top of this foundation, including VirtualCenter, VMotion, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), High Availability (HA) and VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB)."

XenSource - now on its way to Citrix - has revealed parts of its own embedded hypervisor plans.

We'll be curious to see how the various OEMs make use of these new, super-thin hypervisors. Dell should be one of the first vendors to arrive with an appliance - any day now - and IBM has committed its x3950 M2 system as the future home of ESX 3i. The IBM server will ship with quad-core Xeon chips from Intel and bundle the VMware software on a 4GB USB flash storage unit. ®

Bootnote

Those of you interested in the real dirt behind virtualization will want to check out Episode 6 of Semi-Coherent Computing. (Yes, we know Apple has not updated the iTunes feed yet. We're trying to inspire them.)

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?
Enough hot air to carry a balloon to the Moon
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'
$50k of PowerEdge servers? That'll be 85 coins in digi-dosh
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.