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Desktop virtualization solutions specialist VMware announced the launch of vSphere 4.1 solutions
for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) with prices starting at $83
per processor and offering key performance and efficiency enhancements
for virtualization and cloud computing environments. The company’s
vMotion platform, which delivers live migration capability, is also for
the first time included in VMware vSphere 4.1 Essentials Plus and
Standard editions.

Essentials, the most popular vSphere kit for businesses with fewer
than 30 applications, provides an all-in-one solution for small
businesses at $495 for six processors, approximately $83 per processor.
ESXi, re-branded as vSphere Hypervisor, is still available at no cost,
the company noted. Composed of the same underlying hypervisor
architecture as the entire vSphere product portfolio, Hypervisor helps
enable customers to implement production virtualization environments to
take advantage of server consolidation, cost savings and reduced power
and cooling consumption.

The company said vMotion is in use in more than 70 percent of
vSphere customers, and for the first time, VMware is making this
capability available in the vSphere Essentials Plus and Standard
editions, both targeted for SMB customers. In vSphere 4.1, vMotion is
enhanced to deliver a 5X increase in migration speed while supporting
up to eight simultaneous migrations.

"VMware high availability, fault tolerance and data recovery give us
peace of mind because we know that our critical applications and data
are protected and always available on demand — even during hardware
failure," said Max Herring, senior system administrator at Campbell
Clinic, a medical practice in Memphis. "With VMware vSphere(TM), we can
easily build an enterprise-quality disaster recovery environment at a
price point we can afford."

According to a recent survey of North American and European server
virtualization decision-makers conducted by Forrester Research, 60
percent of SMBs rated standardizing on virtualization for server
deployment, disaster recovery, business continuity capabilities and
infrastructure consolidation as a high or critical priority. VMware
noted SMBs represent the fastest growing segment of the company’s
customer base.

VMware recently struck a deal with IT distributor Ingram Micro to provide on-demand, pay-as-you-go style licensing.

"Small and midsize businesses face similar IT challenges as large
enterprises," said Bogomil Balkansky, VMware’s vice president of
virtualization and cloud platform product marketing. "Solving these
challenges requires innovative technologies that deliver cloud-like IT
services such as high availability, effective disaster recovery and
simplified management.”