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VMware sets sights on utility computing

Dec 04, 20032 mins

* Two VMware technologies help create utility computing environment

Server virtualization vendor VMware recently detailed a strategy that points the company toward utility computing.

The VMware Virtual Infrastructure strategy is based on the company’s virtual machine technology, in which multiple operating systems can exist on a single server. Virtual Infrastructure is VMware’s attempt at utility computing, in which resources are dynamically shared among servers. To do this, VMware aims to separate software and operating systems from servers, storage and network hardware.

The company introduced two technologies that are part of its Virtual Infrastructure strategy, VirtualCenter and VMotion. VirtualCenter is a single interface for managing servers that run Windows, NetWare or Linux. VirtualCenter was originally introduced in June as VMware Control Center.

With VirtualCenter, IT managers can monitor and optimize the utilization of server resources, minimize unused capacity and adjust the resources allocated to applications.

VirtualCenter includes a library of templates that administrators can use to provision new servers. For instance, an administrator may create a template that tunes an Oracle database server for better performance. It also includes the ability to set thresholds and alerts for server failures and over- and under-utilization.

VMotion lets a virtual machine move from one server to another without interruption. For instance, VMotion could be used to transfer applications off a server that needs maintenance and then transfer them back when maintenance is completed.

The VirtualCenter Management Server is $5,000. A VirtualCenter Management Pack is $300 per processor. VMotion is an optional add-on that costs $700 per processor. Both are available now.