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VMware plans to extend the reach of virtualisation

More than 10,000 people are expected at the VMworld 2007 conference in San Francisco today (11 September), as industry experts speak about the trends and challenges in implementing virtualisation.

More than 10,000 people are expected at the VMworld 2007 conference in San Francisco today (11 September), as industry experts speak about the trends and challenges in implementing virtualisation.

Speaking ahead of the conference, VMware chief executive ­Diane Greene said the company plans to invest in research and development to increase the reach of its virtualisation platform.

"You are going to see the ability to run more desktops on servers and companies investing more in thin clients. This is going to allow companies to have PCs with instant restart and no booting, and have a lot more control over the management of the data," said Greene.

VMware is also using the conference to reveal details of a contract it has been awarded by the US National Security Agency. Under the deal, the company will provide its software in government workstations so that officials can access information requiring different security clearance levels from a single physical machine.

The process of virtualisation, which makes a single computing resource, such as a server, appear to function as multiple resources, is expected to rise in popularity owing to the savings businesses can make, said analysts attending the event.

"More than 90% of users deploying virtual machines are doing so to cut back on x86 servers, space and energy costs," said Gartner vice-president Thomas Bittman.

In related news, Microsoft may push back the release of its Viridian virtualisation software, which it previously said would be released 180 days after the now delayed Windows Server 2008 (see below).

Ben Armstrong, program manager on the core virtualisation team at Microsoft, said, "It takes time to write good software, but we are confident of delivering [the virtulisation component] within 180 days."

John Abbott, an analyst at 451Group, said, "Virtualisation technology included as part of Windows Server 2008 would give Microsoft a direct inroad into VMware's customer base." But this delay gives VMware another six months to consolidate its huge market lead in the virtualisation space, he said.

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