HP, VMware each launch new virtualization options

HP is enhancing its Virtual Server Environment software for virtual server management, while VMware is expanding its Servife Provider Program to include virtualization

Hewlett-Packard is upgrading its virtualization software offerings to help data center managers better manage their virtual environments, while VMware is offering a virtualization capability for Web hosting companies.

HP on Wednesday announced enhancements to its HP Virtual Server Environment software for its Integrity line of servers, which creates a pool of virtual servers that can expand and contract depending on capacity needs.

Virtualization can make a single physical server act like multiple logical servers, improving server utilization by combining numerous computing resources on a single server. Without it, server utilization has commonly run as low as 15 to 20 percent. Virtualization increases server utilization, thus reducing the need to buy, power, cool, and manage additional servers.

HP also offers a specific software tool, Integrity Essentials Capacity Advisor, for easing the migration of data from Sun servers to HP servers.

Although virtualization improves server utilization, it requires different management tools than a nonvirtual environment. HP says the Integrity Essentials Global Workload Manager, another feature of Virtual Server Environment, specifies which computer workloads can automatically access available capacity in order to maintain service level agreements for key applications.

The company also announced a new Partner Virtualization Program, which allows ISVs to test how their software will work in an HP virtualization environment. Testing and fine-tuning can be done for virtualization using HP ProLiant and Integrity servers and with a number of operating systems, including HP-Unix, Windows Microsoft, and Novell and Red Hat Linux. The Virtual Server Environment also works with VMware virtualization software.

Meanwhile, VMware announced Wednesday the launch of its VMware Service Provider Program, which allows Web hosting services, telecommunications companies, and other outsourcing businesses to include virtual infrastructure as a service offering.

Traditional hosting services use dedicated servers for each client, but virtualization makes it possible to run multiple virtual servers, even for different clients, on one physical server. The Web hosting company can then bill clients monthly based on how many virtual machines they use, not physical ones, VMware said.

This story was corrected on June 7, 2007