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VMware reckons its virtual machines (VMs) cost less than rivals because you can stuff more of them in a physical server. It cites a Taneja Group study, just released, to support this claim.

Jeff Boles, a Tanaja analyst, says: "We’ve validated in a number of tests that VMware virtualised servers can run twice as many applications than other hypervisors at equal or even greater performance levels."

In other words, VMware's server density is higher. Boles suggests this means that customers should be "assessing virtualisation on a ‘cost per application’ basis. VM density has a significant impact on cost per application because it is tied to server equipment, software licensing, and management infrastructure complexity. When looking at all of the factors that contribute to total upfront solution cost, VMware’s advanced technology actually makes it less expensive".

Although VMware might cost more on its own than virtualization products such as Microsoft's Hyper-V, you save money because you can consolidate applications onto a smaller number of physical servers.

To capitalise on this study, VMware has unveiled the Cost-Per-Application Calculator to enable an organisation to estimate cost savings from VMware, compared to the competition. This calculator details the costs to virtualize a set number of applications. A user is able to see the savings made by virtualising more applications per physical server.

According to VMware, case studies of VMware’s customer deployments show VMware Infrastructure 3 users typically achieve a 50-70 per cent higher consolidation ratio per server than commodity hypervisors can achieve, resulting in a 20-30 per cent lower cost per-application.

Read the Taneja Group report, entitled "The True Cost of Virtual Server Solutions", here (pdf). ®

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