The virtues of putting virtualization on the chip

As second-tier server-virtualization vendors embrace hardware assists from Intel and AMD, enterprise customers find good VMware alternatives

Hardware-assisted virtualization from Intel and AMD open the server virtualization market to VMware alternatives like XenSource and Virtual Iron.

Brian Gammage pulls no punches when he assesses the importance of hardware-assisted virtualization: "This is the most significant architectural change we've seen in the x86 processor in 25 years," says Gammage, Gartner's lead analyst on PC virtualization. Even Intel and Advanced Micro Devices haven't explained adequately how significantly the technology affects server virtualization, he adds.

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