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Stunning VMware News: A Free Hypervisor

In the weeks since he took over VMware, new CEO Paul Maritz has been pretty darn quiet. My guess is he was huddling with EMC honchos figuring out what to say. Well, they still haven't announced how independent VMware may or may not be from EMC, and they still haven't announced a grand, new strategy, either.

Maritz did make some rather bold pronouncements in this week's earnings call. First, he announced that ESXi, the embedded hypervisor, will be free. With bundling deals with all the major server makers, this makes ESXi almost part of the operating system.

This is big news, but it's not VMware's first free tool. It has the VMware Player for PCs, and VMware Server, a stripped-down tool, is also free.

Maritz also gave a glimpse of the future. ESX, the enterprise hypervisor, remains immensely important, but the more critical aspect is building out the overall infrastructure.

I think VMware should design infrastructure tools that are totally independent of the hypervisor, and support Xen and Hyper-V. That's VMware's future.

Does a free ESXi change the game? Send your take to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on July 23, 2008 at 11:52 AM


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