Validation is important in any context, but in the case of a software-hardware configuration, it can mean the difference between success and failure.
Virtual Iron Software has secured IBM ServerProven status for version 2.5 of its virtualization and management software of the same name, Virtual Iron Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Mike Grandinetti told ServerWatch. Virtual Iron is in the process of pursuing ServerProven status for version 3, which is scheduled to go into beta in July, Grandinetti said.
The "ServerProven" designation means the solutions have been deployed on an IBM system, in this case, IBM BladeCenter and System X.
Grandinetti notes that the accreditation is validation and confirmation, not evidence of optimization or endorsement. He likens it to the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
Virtual Iron is no stranger to OEM deals. In addition to achieving ServerProven status with IBM, the ISV has validated version 2.5 of its virtualization software for HP systems, and is putting version 3 through the paces. It also partnered with Sun Microsystems in January through the Sun Partner Advantage Program. It supports Sun Microsystems' x64 servers, the Sun FireTM X4100 and Sun Fire X4200.
Collectively, these three OEMs account for 62 percent of the market according to first quarter server sales statistics from IDC.
Virtual Iron currently runs on Opteron and Xeon. It does not support Itanium at this time, as there is not enough demand for it within its target market, Grandinetti said.
Virtual Iron announced the most recent version of its software in April. Version 3, scheduled to go into beta next month, will use the Xen hypervisor to provide Virtual Iron's advanced virtualization and policy-based management capabilities to Xen.
The product suite will include: the Xen Open Source Hypervisor (for both 32- and 64-bit environments), Virtual Iron Virtualization Services, and Virtual Iron Virtualization Manager.
The product will come in three flavors: Open Source Virtual Iron for Xen / Community Edition, which is aimed at the developer community and Grandinetti describes as comparable to VMware's ESX server; Virtual Iron 3 for Xen / Professional, which is aimed at user enterprises but will come with only a limited number of user licenses; and Virtual Iron 3 for Xen / Enterprise Edition, which offers additional features and user licenses.
Both the Community and Enterprise Editions will be free, and the community edition will be released under the GPL. The Enterprise Edition will be priced at $1,500 per server, per socket.
According to IT research firm IDC, in 2005, 3 percent to 5 percent of all x86-based server workloads were in virtual machines. It estimates this will grow to 20 percent by the end of 2006.