It's been a busy week in the virtual server space.
With VMware Virtual SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) the vendor is taking its virtual machines out of the single-processor space and enabling enterprises to set up a single virtual machine that spans multiple processors.
Michael Mullany, senior director of product management at VMware, told ServerWatch that although grouping CPUs together sounds like a simple task, Virtual SMP was two years in development. Much of this time was spent working out the details of "thread synchronization," a process that enables the virtual machine to think of itself as a single server even though it consists of two CPUs.
Mullany also explained that although this offering may on the surface sound like a server clustering solution, it differs from that type of technology because it enables 1) provisioning, 2) online disk recovery, and 3) clone and version operating system images.
With the introduction of Virtual SMP, VMware believes it is raising the bar for scalability and throughput in a virtual machine. And because of the resulting souped-up performance, the vendor believes that Virtual SMP increases the ways that ways that virtual machines can be used.
VMware claims that the offering is well-suited for resource-intensive enterprise applications such as databases, ERP applications, e-mail and groupware servers, OLAP and OLTP applications, and decision support software.
It will be positioned at enterprises with VMware ESX Server deployments, data centers, and corporate IT operations.
"VMware Virtual SMP really completes the original vision we had to provide full virtual machine support for all modern Intel IA-32 laptops, desktops and servers," said Diane Greene, VMware's president and CEO.
Virtual SMP is currently being beta tested. The product is expected to be available in the second quarter as an add-on module for VMware ESX Server.