Intel, VMware Offer ‘Virtualization ASAP’ Program

VMware and Intel are combining forces in a program designed to encourage software developers to build their applications for virtualized environments on Intel’s Xeon platform.

The two companies launched the Virtualize ASAP program June 21 with the goal of streamlining the software development process by optimizing tuning, feedback and technology for virtualized environments.

The idea is that such work will lead to better support for VMware software on the Xeon platform.

Virtualization—the ability to run multiple operating environments and workloads on a single physical machine—is rapidly gaining traction as businesses look for ways to increase server utilization and productivity while driving down hardware and operational costs. Analyst firm IDC, of Framingham, Mass., is predicting that the virtualization market will grow to $15 billion by 2009.

VMware is the leader in the virtualization software space for the x86 market, though the number of competitors is increasing. Intel, like rival Advanced Micro Devices, in 2006 is embedding virtualization technology in its Xeon chips. The technology will take some of the burden off the VMware hypervisor, according to officials.

“Virtualize ASAP gives a broad set of ISV partners a set of technical resources [with which] to accelerate the creation of best practices and reference configurations of VMware Infrastructure for servers using Intel’s dual-core Xeon processors,” VMware President Diane Greene said in a statement. “This will be very helpful to customers for both planning and ongoing deployment in their virtual infrastructure.”

Dan Chu, senior director of developer and ISV products at VMware, in Palo Alto, Calif., said the existence of a program like Virtualize ASAP is becoming more important as customers continue increase the use of virtualization in production environments. Until about two years ago, most used virtualization for testing and development, Chu said.

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