Intel and VMware Expand Collaboration to Accelerate Adoption Virtualisation

By | March 8, 2006

Intel Corporation and VMware, Inc. today announced a broad collaboration to bring the benefits of virtualisation to enterprises and new market segments. In a keynote at the Intel Developer Forum, Intel Senior Vice President Pat Gelsinger and VMware President Diane Greene announced expanded product support and a global joint marketing campaign to increase awareness and adoption of the technology. Intel also announced a new virtualisation capability that VMware plans to support in its future products.

Virtualisation is a technique by which computing resources can be abstracted and dynamically moved with technologies such as VMware VMotion and allocated amongst multiple operating system environments, allowing one hardware platform to function as multiple “virtual” platforms. Intel(r) Virtualisation Technology (Intel VT) provides silicon-level support for CPU virtualisation, enabling additional platform functionality and security. Intel has been shipping server and client processors with Intel VT since November 2005.

Intel today published the specification for the next innovation in its virtualisation technology portfolio: Intel Virtualisation Technology for Directed I/O (Intel VT-d). This technology can provide hardware assistance for assigning I/O devices to virtual machines or partitions, and can improve performance and robustness of data movement in a virtualised environment. The specification complements and enables standardisation efforts in the PCI special interest group to enable I/O virtualisation capabilities in PCI Express I/O Devices.

VMware has the broadest support in the industry for Intel VT. Currently shipping general releases of VMware Player and VMware Workstation and beta releases of VMware Server and VMware ESX Server are already enabled with experimental support. Building on that today, VMware announced that it expects support for Intel VT in versions of VMware´s leading enterprise class ESX Server by the second half of this year and it plans to enable support of Intel VT-d in its enterprise virtualisation products, including VMware ESX Server, for upcoming Intel platforms.

“With Intel VT, Intel delivered a robust virtualisation infrastructure that complements VMware´s long-standing leadership in delivering high-performance virtualisation products for Intel architecture,” said Greene. “Now with the Virtualisation Technology for Directed I/O specification, which is the result of the long-term collaboration between VMware and Intel, we are building on that foundation.”

“Intel has led the industry in the specification, development and productisation of hardware-assisted virtualisation, and Intel VT is backed by broad ecosystem support, which is essential for customers to successfully implement this technology,” said Gelsinger. “With support for Intel VT across its virtualisation product line, VMware customers can realise the incremental benefits of hardware-assisted virtualisation. Today´s announcements enable acceleration of the mainstream adoption of virtualisation occurring in the data center.”

In addition to product development and support, Intel and VMware plan to collaborate on several market acceleration and education initiatives, including: Enterprise Marketing: The two companies are working together to drive market awareness and adoption of virtualisation by planning a multi-million-dollar marketing campaign. Intel and VMware shall continue to educate and bring the value of virtualisation directly to the enterprise´s top IT managers through direct engagements and targeted materials in conjunction with some of the companies´ largest joint original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners.

Entry Market Education: To help educate the market and drive

virtualisation ubiquity, the companies are investing in the development of a comprehensive virtualisation starter kit containing fully featured products and the supporting resources required for new customers to start using virtualisation. The companies plan to make these starter kits easily available to users in all market segments and geographies by utilising Intel´s worldwide channels and OEM programs combined with VMware´s industry-leading virtualisation software portfolio , including the freely licensed VMware Player and VMware Server.

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