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VMware ESX 3.5 Update 4 on tap: News in brief

In today's news in brief, VMware released ESX 3.5 Update 4 and VKernel models virtual environments.

Last stop before vSphere? VMware ESX 3.5 Update 4
Even as VMware gears up for vSphere, it has released Update 4 (U4) of ESX and ESXi 3.5. Notable features in U4 include experimental support for ESXi PXE boot, making it possible to install ESXi on diskless servers, and an enhanced VMXnet virtual network driver that provides improved network performance on older 32-bit versions of Windows.

ESX and ESXi 3.5 Update 4 also adds guest operating system support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Desktop 11 (SLES and SLED), as well as server and desktop versions of Ubuntu 8.10. Among the new hardware devices supported in U4 are Intel's new Xeon 5500 processors, new SAS and SATA controllers, storage arrays, onboard management processors and network interface cards (NICs). You can read the release notes here.

VKernel virtual appliance answers virtualization what-if's

Virtualization management software company VKernel's new virtual appliance VKernel Modeler 1.0, gives users a way to simulate what-if scenarios to understand the performance impact on data centers before rolling out additions and making any changes to the virtual environment.

The tool allows users to do things like see how configuration changes affect the environment, pre-test VMotion scenarios to ensure that sufficient resources exist and see how adding or removing hosts or guest virtual machines changes resources. Pricing starts at $199 per CPU socket. A fully functional 14-day free Modeler trial is also available for download.

Neterion updates 10GbE server adapter
Neterion released its third-generation I/O virtualization product, the X3110 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) server adapter. Neterion Inc.'s product is designed to reduce bottleneck issues in large virtual environments by reducing a hypervisor's CPU utilization with its "hypervisor offload" technology. It also supports the emerging Virtual Ethernet Bridge (VEB) standard that migrates Ethernet switching overhead from the hypervisor to the X3110 adapter hardware, as well as a number of other features to improve virtual machine performance.

The adapters are available through channel distributors with a starting price of $899. Dual-port 10 GbE adapter versions (the X3120) will be available in the second half of 2009.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Alex Barrett, News Director.

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