VMWare just added another dot release to its top-of-the-line desktop virtualization software, View. VMware View 4.6 combines a boatload of bug fixes (over 160 in all) and a handful of new features into a new package. One of the bigger additions is VMware View Security Server support for PCoIP, which allows for a simple, secure remote connection and authentication to a user's desktop sans the requirement for enterprise-class SSL VPNs, VMware says.
ARM may be comfortably placed in the mobile chip market, but the company is unwilling to rest on its laurels. In recent times, ARM has time and again underlined its interest in the server market. The company hopes to make a dent in the low-power server market with a new chip design that features both virtualization and large physical address support. The next generation of its Cortex-A processor, the Eagle, will be the first to utilize the two key instruction-set extensions that the UK-based chip designer announced at the Hot Chips conference today.
"It's the natural progression of the ARM architecture to move into this domain," said David Brash, ARM's architecture program manager. "We think that that are going to be places for low-power servers, but also new cases." A slide Brash presented at the conference revealed that some of the leading names in the field of server virtualization have already begun developing hypervisor software for the chip design, which is “very close” to being released.
Good news for small and midsize businesses -- VMWare has taken a hatchet to its virtualization software package and cut the price in half.
The entry-level virtualization platform, VSphere Essentials, now runs $495 for six CPUs, which amounts to $83 per chip (in case your internal calculator is on the fritz). That's down from $995 for six CPUs.
"The question is what took them so long [to lower prices]," says Information Technology Intelligence Crop (ITIC) analyst Laura Didio. "The answer is they could afford to wait because they had such a big lead on everyone else in the marketplace. They were able to charge a premium, and the users weren't grousing about it too much."
It's not as though VMWare is any stranger to big price cuts, however. Back in 2008, the company started offering its ESXi hypervisor for free, which was one of the biggest pricing changes the company ever made.
“Now that Chrome OS & WebGL are in good shape, it's time for something new. I'm going to work @ Facebook! Love the product and team. Woot!” Matthew Papakipos, Google's director of engineering, tweeted Monday. His departure adds to the growing list of Google employees stolen by Facebook. Papakipos is the man who created and led the Chrome OS and the Chrome GPU hardware projects.
The internet behemoth is counting on its bench strength to ensure that Papakipos' expertise are not missed during the few months leading up to the launch of its operating system. “Matt made great contributions to Google and Chrome OS, and we know he’ll do the same in his next endeavors. We wish him the best. We have a deep bench of talent and are very excited about the launch of Chrome OS devices later this year,” a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Besides Papakipos, Facebook has made another addition to its star-studded team in the form of Jocelyn Goldfein, former VP and GM of VMware's desktop business unit.
VMware's SpringSource division, which focuses on Java application infrastructure and management, will acquire GemStone Systems, a privately held provider of enterprise data management solutions, VMware announced on Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Data management technologies are fundamental to the creation of applications, and with the rise of virtualization and cloud computing, the manner in which applications need to access data is evolving," said Rod Johnson, general manager of the SpringSource division of VMware. "Cloud computing is a distributed deployment model, and for that reason, caching and data accessibility are of far greater strategic importance than before. We are acquiring and will integrate into the SpringSource portfolio a well-regarded set of high performing data management solutions with GemStone."
The acquisition brings a set of technologies and expertise in scaling databases to VMware's stable. SpringSource said it will continue to fully support GemStone's product line as well as all of GemStone's customers
VMWare this week reported $608.2 million in revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, representing an 18 percent increase the same quarter one year ago. It was also considerably higher than what most analysts were expecting, which had the company pegged at about $554 million.
Playing a big role in VMWare's strong quarter performance was services revenue, which catapulted 52 percent to $303.9 million. This was enough to offset declines in new licenses sales.
It wasn't all good news, though. Net income for the quarter took a steep backwards slide to $56 million, or $0.14 per share, compared to $111 million, or $0.29 per share in the same quarter one year ago. When looking at the full fiscal year, however, revenue was $2 billion, up 8 percent from $1.9 billion in 2008.
VMWare this week announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zimbra from Yahoo. Zimbra specializes in email and collaboration software.
"Over the coming years, we expect more organizations, especially small and medium size businesses, to increasingly buy core IT solutions that deliver cloud-like simplicity in end-user and operational experience," said Brian Byun, VP and GM, Cloud Services, VMWare. "Zimbra is a great example of the type of scalable 'cloud era' solutions that can span smaller, on-premise implementations to the cloud."
In short, VMWare's interest in Zimbra stems from wanting help in selling cloud-computing services to businesses. At the same time, VMWare stated it plans to support existing Zimbra products and open-source projects.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although it's believed VMWare paid far less than the $350 million Yahoo spent acquiring the company in September 2007.
Virtualization has become one of the biggest buzzwords in IT during the last couple of years, and for good reason. Virtualization enables you to run more than one operating system at the same time on a single system, enabling you to run legacy applications in their preferred environment. Virtualization enables you to use a single physical system to perform the jobs of two or more systems, each performing different tasks. Virtualization also enables you to create a safe "sandbox" environment for testing applications within an existing computer, so you no longer need to tie up a separate system for testing.
It's no wonder virtualization is hot. But could it become even hotter? Maximum IT columnist Mark Edward Soper takes a closer look.
But will it be worth the effort? If it’s something you really, really got to do, then yes, it will be worth the effort. For the rest of us, with episodes of The Colbert Report to catch up on, maybe not. Our colleagues over at Engadget have tried it out and report Chrome OS is “really a browser with an OS attached rather than vice versa.”
Chrome OS is browser-like in its construction, and Internet oriented. There are minimal app launcher options. And the more interesting apps, says Engadget, required a Google.com account to access. Without one you will be stuck playing with Gmail and Calendar (which Engadget reports suffer from “significant lag and choppiness”).