Some of the biggest server vendors are starting to ship machines with built-in support for VMware virtualisation software. Fujitsu-Siemens began to ship servers with embedded VMware technology Tuesday, while Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM will jump on the bandwagon within 60 days.
All the servers will feature support for VMware's thinned-down ESX 3i hypervisor, which will simplify configuration and increase security.
"You just start the server, answer a couple of questions, and you'll be up and running in a couple minutes," said Robin Prudholm, senior systems engineer at VMware.
The hypervisor has been hardened for improved security, according to Prudholm. The hypervisor software's size, 32MB, also improves security by giving hackers a smaller attack surface.
"I think security conscious companies will choose ESX 3i over our normal package because of these improvements," said Prudholm.
Fujitsu-Siemens hopes their servers plus the ease of use of ESX 3i will convince small and medium-size companies to make the jump to virtualisation.
"Companies that have a smaller number of servers and still want to consolidate," said Erik Aldrin, product marketing manager, standard servers, at Fujitsu-Siemens.
HP also thinks the introduction of servers with embedded virtualisation will open new doors for the technology.
"So far virtualisation has mainly been used by large enterprises. But with servers that are ready to go, we also see a potential for medium-sized companies," said Maarten Reinders, HP's industry standard server manager general in Western Europe.
Fujitsu-Siemens' Primergy RX330 S1 and RX300 S4 servers, featuring embedded VMware software, began to ship Tuesday with prices starting at €2,300 (US$3,409).
HP has said it will start shipping 10 Proliant servers with the VMware technology, including current versions of the Proliant DL360 and DL380, as well as its blade server BL460, on March 31.