VMware will begin broadly testing a new version of its premium ESX Server product next week, a move that comes shortly after the EMC subsidiary began offering its basic server software package for free. Product delivery, however, could occur several months later than planned.
ESX Server, like the newly free VMware Server product, lets multiple operating systems run simultaneously on the same x86-based server, a feature that permits more efficient use of computing resources. ESX server runs atop a thin level of virtualization software, a technique that permits higher performance and more computing capacity than the VMware Server product, which runs atop a Windows or Linux host operating system.
As VMware has grown--it reported revenue of $115 million in the fourth quarter of 2005--its products have expanded from basic virtualization to higher-level software built on the basic foundation.
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I have a few really old laptops that I've rescued for use in the TaoSecurity labs. One is a Thinkpad 600e PII 366 MHz with 128 MB RAM, and the other is a Thinkpad 1400 Pentium MMX 300 MHz with 256 MB RAM. Recently I wondered if I could use them as VMware Player running on them. First I needed a supported operating system. I first tried Ubuntu, since it looked like the most recent free OS with which I was familiar. Unfortunately, Ubuntu's live CD and installation CD hung on the two laptops I tried.
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