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VMware ESXi will be available for download FREE 7/28/08

Update: VMware ESXi will be available for download FREE July 28, 2008

It seems that some VMware executives, specifically New CEO Paul Maritz, agreed with my idea of celebrating the FREEdoms of July. With the announcement of the release of ESXi at no charge to everyone after July 28, 2008, the bar to virtualize your server environment has been lowered once again.

Today, VMware is taking another step towards making virtualization ubiquitous by announcing that VMware ESXi will be available for download at no cost as of the week of July 28, 2008.

VMware has always believed that virtualization needs to be ubiquitous. Since 2001, VMware has provided the industry’s most popular and reliable hypervisor used by more than 100,000 customers. During this evolution, partners like you have been critical in educating and delivering virtualization to customers of all sizes. In December 2007, VMware announced significant improvements with ESXi - its third-generation, stand-alone hypervisor. With its smaller footprint and OS-independence, ESXi ensures even higher levels of security and reliability while making virtualization easier than ever to deploy.

This really adds an interesting twist to the SMB market, now a small company which couldn’t afford the high cost of VMware may now be able to tap into the rich features and ease of management which it offers.

Bogomil Balkansky, senior marketing manager, said dropping the $495 license price for ESXi to zero will “accelerate adoption of VMware virtualization products and help companies get to 100% virtualization in their data centers.” While VMware is the current market leader, with $1.3 billion in revenues last year, much of the potential market for virtualization products remains untapped, especially among small and medium-sized businesses that that are just getting started.

Sources:
From the VMware Field: Mike D’s Virtualization Blog: ESX 3.5i for Free and the Impact on Hyper-V and the SMB
VMware to Ship ESXi Hypervisor for Free
VMware Counters Microsoft, Will Make ESXi Hypervisor Free - Yahoo! News

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