VMware opens Server 2.0 beta program

Almost one year after groundbreaking launch of Server 1.0, made free after being the commercial GSX Server for many years, VMware is ready to open beta program for the second version.

The first beta (build 63231) introduces some new features and improvements like:

  • New ESX-like web based management interface
  • Support for 64bit host OS (Linux only)
  • Support for 8GB RAM per VM
  • Support for para-virtualization guests (VMI interface)
  • Support for USB 2.0 devices
  • Support for VIX API 1.2

In a following beta VMware is also expected to introduce support for VirtualCenter 2.5, as disclosed during VMworld 2007.

Enroll for the beta program here.

While new features and extended support is welcome, mostly the central management capability provided by VirtualCenter, it seems that VMware is failing to bring innovation into this product.

It’s evident the company is spending most of its R&D and marketing efforts around ESX Server and Workstation. In 11 months no company (in a big ecosystem of over 200 technology partners) developed products for VMware Server, despite its price and wide feature-set could push adoption like no others.

Customers seem to confirm this when only 50 people over 11,000 attend the first and only technology preview session about the product at VMworld. Also considering that all of them already were adopting ESX Server.

With more features being included in Workstation 6.x and a cheaper ESX Server 3.5, this VMware Server 2.0 is becoming less relevant than ever and the company may find hard to justify its development to shareholders.

The second beta has to bring in some remarkable innovation or customers will have a hard time to recognize the value and adopt it.