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VMware announces CFO and new server software

VMware, which sells software to run numerous operating systems at the same time on a single computer, names a new chief financial officer and announces a new server version of its product.

VMware, which sells software to run numerous operating systems at the same time on a single computer, named a new chief financial officer and announced a new server version of its product Tuesday.

VMware, based in Palo Alto, Calif., hired Mike Everett, 51, former CFO of Netro, a maker of high-speed wireless networking equipment that Everett took public. In addition, VMware named Bill Rudiak, 42, as vice president of professional services and Susan Thomas, 44, as vice president of marketing.

The executives will help VMware with new products and services also announced today. As previously reported, VMWare has been hard at work on a server version of its software.

VMware GSX Server lets customers split up a server into several "virtual machines," each a separate version of an operating system and software, but all able to share the same hardware. The server software also comes in a more expensive ESX version that has more sophisticated software underpinnings designed for more demanding environments and use on multiprocessor servers.

The object of the software is to bring mainframe-like features to cheaper Intel-based servers, letting computing tasks run in separate compartments where they won't interfere with each other. The penalty is that each virtual machine requires its own memory and other computing resources, requiring that more powerful systems be purchased.

One use of the software would be for a Web hosting company whose computers housed customers' Web sites. Today, customers typically are offered a choice between sharing a server with other customers or paying more to have their own. VMware would enable a middle option that shares hardware but that insulates one customer's site from the problems of another.

GSX for Linux systems will be available in January with a single-license price tag of $2,499. A Windows version is planned in the second quarter, the company said.

ESX will be available in limited quantities in the first quarter of 2001, with a starting cost of $20,000 per month.

In addition, VMware announced a professional-services organization that will train customers, support the company's products 24 hours a day and provide consulting services for customized use of VMware products.

VMware said Merrill Lynch, CenterBeam, E! Online and ProTier are all using its server software.

In addition, VMware announced a preferred hardware partner program, under which companies can have their servers certified to work with VMware. Current partners include Dell Computer, which invested in VMware in May, along with Compaq Computer and VA Linux Systems.