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VMware woos SMBs with new vSphere; Microsoft tests new self-service portal

VMware woos SMBs with new vSphere; Microsoft tests new self-service portal

VMware lures smaller companies

With the newly available VMware vSphere 4.1 release, virtualization's kingpin hopes to win over small and medium-sized companies, many of which are eyeing Hyper-V from rival Microsoft.

For example, VMware is now making VMotion live migration available in the Essentials Plus and Standard licensing levels. VMotion had previously only been available with the more enterprise-class Advanced packaging. The price for the low-end Essentials license dropped from $995 to $495. The $495 price point had been a promotional offer which is now permanent. Price on the higher end Essentials Plus and Standard Editions, on the other hand, were raised. Essentials Plus is now $3,495 for three hosts, up from $2,995, and Standard is now $995 per processor, up from $795 per processor.

The company also tweaked its VMware Partner Network, adding a new "competency" around SpringSource and management options. The company is moving away from compensating partners based on the number of certifications they hold and how much product they sell and toward selling full solutions.

Partners will be incented to implement the VMware products they are certified on. So, if a partner with desktop competencies sells a solution, he will earn "solution rewards" or additional margin for the parts of that solution that touch on desktop virtualization, and not necessarily for other technology that the partner is not certified for, said Doug Smith, senior director of global partner strategy and operations for VMware Inc.

The company is also starting to ask partners for customer references, although not for publication purposes, Smith said.

Microsoft preps self-service portal

Microsoft made a test version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0 (VMMSSP) available to the masses this week.

The new VMMSSP aims to help Windows administrators perform common virtual machine resource management jobs.

The portal builds on Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter or Enterprise editions and Hyper-V and provides users with a Web-based user interface with separate areas for data center managers and line-of-business users. It gives each set of users a way to tailor virtual machine actions depending on role-based access controls.

This release is not an upgrade to the existing VMM 2008 R2 portal but a completely new product, according to Don Retallack, systems management analyst with Directions on Microsoft, in Kirkland, Wash.

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