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VMware boasts a half mil vSphere downloads

And another half mil for freebie ESXi hypervisor

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Everyone is looking for bragging rights in the x64 server virtualization area now that the big three vendors - VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix Systems - have their latest releases in the field. Today, it was VMware's turn to play chanticleer.

VMware says that it has processed over 500,000 downloads of its vSphere 4.0 virtualization tools, which started shipping on May 21 and which are anchored by the ESX Server 4.0 hypervisor. According to a spokesperson at VMware, those downloads are only for sales by VMware itself through its own Website and does not include any vSphere distribution through VMware's partner channel, which includes just about every server maker on the planet.

Incidentally, those vSphere 4.0 downloads do not include any downloads of the freebie ESXi variant of the 4.0 server hypervisor, which VMware provides as a counter to the freebie Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Systems XenServer hypervisors. VMware says that it has over 500,000 downloads of the free ESXi 4.0 version of the hypervisor as well.

While that number is large, the download rate is slowing. As previously reported, VMware said in late August that it had over 350,000 downloads for the vSphere 4.0 tools in the first twelve weeks it was shipping, for an average of 29,167 per week. Since that time, VMware has had just over 150,000 vSphere 4.0 downloads, which averages to 18,750 per week.

In early August, Citrix was saying that it had had over 150,000 downloads to the freebie XenServer since it started giving it away with XenServer 5.1 in February, with about 100,000 of them being for 5.1 and 50,000 of them being for XenServer 5.5, which started shipping in mid-June. Citrix was averaging 6,250 downloads per week back in August, and has not provided any updated stats. Probably because VMware's number are so much larger.

In addition to touting its vSphere 4.0 downloads, VMware said that 70 per cent of its customers have put the VMotion live migration feature of the ESX Server hypervisor into production. VMotion, like other live migration features in XenServer, Hyper-V, and other hypervisors running on non-x64 platforms, allows for a running virtual machine and its operating system and applications to be teleported from one physical server to another one that resides on the same network. Live migration is perhaps the key feature driving server virtualization sales beside the ability to use VMs to cram multiple workloads onto a single physical box, thereby driving up server utilization and driving down capital and operational costs.

Interestingly, VMware estimates that its customers have done some 350 million live migrations since VMotion through the end of 2008, which it claims saved customers $459m in IT administration savings. ®

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