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VMware revamps data center tools

The company aims for the cloud with its next generation of data center virtualization tools called vSphere, and announces a new Intel deal.

vmworld conference

CANNES, France--Virtualization specialist VMware has introduced its next generation of data center virtualization tools, called vSphere.

Speaking on Tuesday at the VMworld Europe 2009 conference here, VMware president Paul Maritz said vSphere would let companies virtualize all their workloads.

"VMware vSphere will gradually replace our existing generation of infrastructure products," Maritz said, adding that the first elements of the new suite will be delivered later this year. "On top of vSphere will be the new vCenter Suite. The idea is in a series of steps to move closer and closer to the management of service levels."

The VMware chief said the software company would complete its rollout of VMware View virtual desktop products--which make it possible for desktops to be provided as a service--during the course of this year.

Maritz also announced a tie-in with Intel, based on the chipmaker's vPro technology. "Today we're announcing a formal partnership with Intel to work together on a client-side hypervisor with the advantage of centralized management," he said.

The goal is to let all corporate desktops be provisioned using virtual machines. Most users would access their desktop using thin-client devices, but mobile workers, or those using specialized applications, could run the virtual machine on a laptop or powerful workstation.

"We will use our desktop virtualization assets to enable laptops and powerful desktops to host virtual environments on these devices in a secure way," Maritz said. "We can send a desktop VM to a thick-client device, then trickle down the user's data and trickle back any changes to that data."

Maritz also said that vSphere's integrated availability and reliability would provide 100 percent fault tolerance.

Roger Howorth of ZDNet UK reported from Cannes, France.