It won't be long before you'll have no choice but to buy into virtualization technology. But don't despair, that's a good thing.
The onslaught of hardware-embedded virtualization is set to make it easier to partition servers and storage environments, allowing for better resource utilization and stretching hardware refresh budgets to the max.
The latest entrant is industry leader VMware, which just launched the ESX Server 3i, the embedded version of the company's hypervisor due to show up on a range of Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, NEC and other platforms. Pretty soon, you won't need to launch VMware software to tap into virtual environments -- it will boot up right from hardware.
At only 32 MB, the new ESX 3i also has a smaller footprint. To do that, the company had to strip the system of much of its operating system functionality. However, the system provides an automated access point to VMware's Infrstructure 3 platform, where much of the management and optimization features can be found.
Hardware vendors are expected to start shipping the system by the end of the year. VMware is also planning to release a downloadable version sometime next year.