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Intel outlines plans for virtualisation

Intel has taken advantage of its developer forum to announce plans for the next generation technologies for future computer systems.

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Intel has taken advantage of its developer forum to announce plans for the next generation technologies for future computer systems.

Among a flurry of statements, the chip giant announced a collaboration with Microsoft to advance virtualisation technology, and a new virtualisation capability that VMware plans to support in its future products.

With Microsoft, Intel plans to connect its new Active Management Technology (AMT) with Microsoft SMS to enhance users' ability to protect their computers from viruses and to help lower maintenance costs.

The two companies have also extended Intel Virtualisation Technology (Intel VT) to include support for mapping I/O devices to virtual machines on servers with a new specification, called Intel Virtualisation for Directed I/O (Intel VT-d).

Part of the Intel VT family of technologies, Intel VT-d is designed to improve the reliability, flexibility and performance of I/O in a virtualised environment. Microsoft has collaborated with Intel on development of the specification to help ensure it provides optimal functionality for users.

With VMware, Intel says it will also spread the word of virtualisation to enterprises and new market segments. Intel VT-d virtualisation capabilities will be supported by VMware in future products and VMware has the broadest support in the industry for Intel VT.

Current general releases of VMware Player and VMware Workstation and beta releases of VMware Server and VMware ESX Server are already enabled with experimental support. VMware announced that it expects support for Intel VT in versions of VMware's ESX Server by the second half of 2006 and it plans to enable support of Intel VT-d in its enterprise virtualisation products, including VMware ESX Server, for upcoming Intel platforms.

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