VMware Infrastructure 3.5 and ESX Server 3i to be available since December 2007 with new prices and editions

The upcoming major update in VMware Infrastructure 3.x, called 3.5, and new ESX Server 3i will be available to general public in December 2007, virtualization.info has learned. An official announcement is expected next week.

virtualization already broke the news about new features and enhancements that will appear in VI 3.5, including ESX Server 3i integration into servers from popular OEMs like Dell, IBM, HP. But the biggest news emerges only now: VMware will also sell ESX Server 3i as stand-alone product, with support for SATA storage devices, at less than $500.

What will change in details with new VI 3.5 offering:

  • ESX Server 3i becomes the lowest entry-level for enterprise virtualization. It will have just basic capabilities (VMFS and vSMP) and will not be manageable by a VirtualCenter.
  • Current VMware Infrastructure Starter Edition will become VMware Infrastructure Foundation Edition, moving from a temporary promotion to a definitive edition. It will have some more capabilities (the Consolidated Backup and the new Update Manager) and will be manageable by a new edition of VirtualCenter, called Foundation as well. The new VirtualCenter Foundation will have a limit of three ESX Server 3.x hosts and will be able to manage even upcoming VMware Server 2.0 hosts.
  • Current VI Standard Edition will retain the name but will only have the VMware HA module more than Foundation Edition.
  • Current VI Enterprise Edition will retain the name and will include all other missing features: the VMotion and DRS, as well as the new Storage VMotion and Distributed Power Management (DPM).

On top of that VMware will announce special bundles for SMBs, trying to make its offering more interesting before XenSource reorganizes after Citrix acquisition and Microsoft comes on stage with codename Viridian:

Unfortunately the biggest bait to attract the SMB market, ESX Server 3i stand-alone, will probably not appear before beginning of 2008.

The virtualization.info Virtualization Industry Roadmap has been updated accordingly.

Update: As expected VMware announced VI 3.5 features and SMB bundles, as virtualization.info readers know since months. What VMware is still vague about is release date.