Breaking news: VMware to give virtualization server for free

An email circulating in these hours reports GSX Server is going to change name in VMware Server, distributed for free from 6th February.

The new product should appear on this page (now forbidden) for description and on this page (now redirected to VMware home page) for download.

CNET News seems to confirm this news:

VMware, an EMC subsidiary whose software lets multiple operating systems run on the same computer, is expected to announce next week that it will begin giving away one of its key products for free.

The company sells three core products, VMware Workstation, GSX Server and ESX Server, but competition is on the horizon in a market VMware once had to itself. On Monday, however, the company is expected to announce it will give away GSX for free, sources familiar with the plan said.

Read the whole article at source.

The Register is reporting a slightly different version of the story:

The free product will be called VMware Server and will join the Workstation, GSX Server and ESX Server products. VMware Server relates most closely to the midrange GSX Server product often used by VMware customers to test and and develop software packages. The high-end ESX Server is used for production applications and actually slots in below operating systems such as Windows and Linux, whereas GSX Server and the upcoming VMware Server run on top of the OS.

When plugging VMware Server, which arrives in beta only for the moment, company representatives insisted that we think of the free option as a way to promote virtualization technology.

The VMware Server, for example, has a feature not even present in GSX Server. It supports Intel’s VT technology for improving virtualization performance. In addition, it supports 64-bit guest operating systems – including Solaris x86 – and has support for virtual SMPs. So, it’s not just some crippled, low-end product.

Next week, a beta version of VMware Server will be available here. The product is expected to be fully baked in the first half of this year, and VMware expects to sell plenty of support contracts behind it. Over time, it will effectively replace GSX Server…

Read the whole article at source.

If this is true, and I’m pretty confident it is, VMware will give a huge hit to Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, now sold at $99, to Xen and to the upcoming Windows Hypervisor.

Thanks to vmdude for pointing me out the CNET News article.