VMware finally made the move that everybody predicted and was awaited for a long time: releasing its hypervisor for free.
During the Q2 2008 earnings call the company announced that before the end of July it will release the Update 2 for VMware Infrastructure 3.5 and that will give away the lightweight edition of the product, ESX 3i, for free.
The new 3i edition was introduced at the end of the last year.
It doesn’t change the characteristics of the hypervisor but fundamentally chances a part of its architecture, dropping the Console Operating System (COS) and reducing the overall system footprint to 32Mb.
The change allowed several OEMs to preload this edition of the hypervisor into their servers, through internal USB keys, Solid-State Drives (SSD) or hidden partition in the primary hard drives.
virtualization.info has learned some additional details about the move:
- VI 3.5 and ESX 3i will continue to share a the large majority of the code base (so there will be an ESX 3i Update 2). There will be no delays on the release of both products.
- ESX 3i will continue to have the same features that has today, without additional limitations
- ESX 3i will continue to have the same APIs, allowing anybody to develop free or commercial alternatives to VirtualCenter (despite some features like VMotion cannot be replicated because of the VMware SDK limitations).
- VMware will not require the purchase of any software & support subscription to access the product. Customer will be able to get the code without any restriction.
- The customers that purchased the current version of ESX 3i directly from the VMware online store will be eligible for a rebate.
- The ESX version that includes the Console Operating System (COS) will not be faded out (at least in the short timeframe). Most VMware customers are currently using that version and the company will support them for a long time.
- VMware Server will not be faded out (as many could suppose). The company still sees the product as a valuable proposition for a different kind of audience.
You can read the full post here.
Posted by Gabriel Maciel