Options and CapabilitiesBy Frank Ohlhorst | Print
With the December release of Virtual Iron’s Version 4.2, has the product matured enough to challenge VMware’s dominance in the virtualization market?
Of course, there are some basic hardware requirements, but as with any virtualization product, the more powerful the hardware, the better the overall experience. For single server installations, users will want to make sure that they have at least an AMD or Intel VT capable processor, 2Gbytes of RAM, 36Gbytes of available storage. Enterprise version of the product will, of course, need multiple systems that meet the basic requirements.
Single server and Enterprise versions of Virtual Server have different install procedures, but both are equally well documented. Once installed, all of the real action takes place from the Virtual Iron Management Server. The management server is responsible for not only "managing" the virtual infrastructure, but also runs the Virtualization Manager, which is used to discover and deploy virtual servers, and the Administration Manager, which is used to manage licenses, backups, policies and so on. Both are browser-based applications, which can be run remotely over the network.
For the channel, Virtual Iron offers its Channel One program, which extols education and marketing support. One of the major elements of the program is the focus on building comprehensive solutions, which educates partners on how to extend virtualization technology to build up revenue. That helps VARs avoid becoming just "box" pushers into the enterprise and make the leap over to true virtualization solution providers. Channel partners will find that Virtual Iron’s software capabilities create a number of consulting and professional services opportunities, which include data center assessment, physical to virtual migration, capacity planning and utilization, implementation and deployment, policy-based automation development and various managed services.
Virtual Iron's combination of technology and a friendly channel program bodes well for the company. With version 4.2, Virtual Iron has become a mainstream choice for channel partners looking to leverage the virtualization market. While companies such as VMware may still hold the upper hand when it comes to large enterprise deployments, Virtual Iron 4.2 should readily challenge the giants out there in the SMB market. The product’s low cost and ease of use should also bolster its viability in the large enterprise and at the very least make adopters think twice before putting all of their eggs in the VMware basket.