New stuff from VMware and AMD

Today brings some new product releases aimed at data centers from a pair of valley companies.

VMware works in the less-than-glamorous world of network plumbing supplies, making virtual machine software, which allows a computer to run two or more operating systems at once. But while the name may not be familiar to the general public, it definitely rings a bell in Redmond — an alarm bell. “VMware is definitely a threat,” IDC analyst Gary Chen told the New York Times. “After Google, it is the company Microsoft fears most.” At the VMworld 2009 conference starting today in San Francisco, the company is rolling out the vCenter Product Family, a suite of its existing virtualization solutions, designed to automate tasks such as data center provisioning, monitoring and performance management. It’s also introducing the beta of VMware Go, a free, Web-based service designed to give small and medium-size businesses an easy way to start virtualizing their applications. Microsoft’s concern is based on the key territory that virtual machine software occupies in on servers — between the hardware and operating system. With development tools such as those VMware is acquiring through its $420 million purchase of SpringSource, “it makes us far less dependent on the operating system to manage the applications,” said COO Tod Nielsen, a former Microsoft exec. Microsoft, of course, is not crazy about anything that makes an end-run around the operating system, and in July it started bundling its own HyperV virtual machine in Windows Server 2008. Right now, Microsoft is well behind VMware in market share and features, but the company can hear the relentless footsteps coming. “This is going to be a battle for sure,” Nielsen said. “But we are going to stay focused and continue to outrun them.”

Advanced Micro Devices is also hoping to appeal to cost-conscious data center managers with a new line of low-power, six-core “Istanbul” Opteron CPUs. The 40-watt models join the 75- and 55-watt versions already on the market. The new processors offer 30 percent more performance and 38 percent more performance per watt than quad-core Opterons, said AMD Senior Product Manager Brent Kirby. The company’s pitch is aimed at driving upgrades — for example, a rack with 24 servers using AMD’s 75-watt Opteron SE could be traded for a rack of 42 servers using the new low-power version while keeping overall power consumption the same.

 
 

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  • dermbuilder

    This is sort of like in the field of electronic calculators in the 1970’s when every year the manufacturers added features and cut the price in half. By 1980 calculators had become a mature technology, they had all the power and features anyone needed or wanted and were so inexpensive that there was no reason to make then any cheaper. Microprocessors have about reached that point as far as personal computers are concerned. Those processors that retail for under $100.00 now have enough power and speed for any purpose that the average person is likely to use their computer for.

  • Your VMWare articles says, “Microsoft … started bundling its own HyperV virtual machine in Windows Server 2008.” Microsoft has done this (offer a “free”, built-in alternative) to other market leaders. Remember when Netscape was the “only” browser?

  • Markus Unread

    “Those processors that retail for under $100.00 now have enough power and speed for any purpose that the average person is likely to use their computer for.”

    Ah, lucky for Intel and AMD, people will keep writing crappier and crappier bloatware to eat up whatever CPU and RAM is available.

    When I booted Unix with X, I never thought I’d see the day where a PC (with Vista Home Premium) eats >800M of RAM to boot all the way up. But here we are!

  • Ah, but MS loves VM Ware — all those extra OSes are licensed. And now you can get an extra OS without the expense of new hardware.

 
 
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