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VMware's initial lead in the marketplace has given it a performance lead in most of the areas that we tested, although Microsoft's prowess is beginning to show in a core area - consolidation of single-CPU focused VM performance. Both vendors are likely to improve their performance numbers rapidly, as it's a source of strong competition between them. Biting at their heels are offerings from Citrix, Sun and Red Hat, as well as open source developments that are reaching commercial potential. VM performance is certainly an area to keep an eye on.
Henderson and Allen are researchers for ExtremeLabs. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Henderson is also a member of the Network World Lab Alliance, a cooperative of the premier reviewers in the network industry each bringing to bear years of practical experience on every review. For more Lab Alliance information, including what it takes to become a member, go to www.networkworld.com/alliance.
Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.