Intel's recently renewed commitment to PC virtualisation, signalled by the accelerated release of Vanderpool technology, will create useful options for IT managers. But analyst Gartner has warned that it must be carefully managed.
Martin Reynolds, vice president at Gartner's Dataquest organisation, believes that Vanderpool, which allows a single PC to run multiple operating systems and applications simultaneously in discrete 'containers', will help boost manageability and security.
"Clearly, the use of this new software space must be tightly controlled to avoid compromising platform integrity," said Reynolds.
Intel's technology will make products such as VMware and Virtual PC more efficient, robust, secure and flexible, according to Gartner.
It also offers an opportunity to 'bury' software components inside the platform, so that they operate as part of the hardware.
"The release of this technology will spark innovation. IBM's sHype technology is a good example of how this new resource can be managed," explained Reynolds.
IBM's sHype is a lightweight module (10,000 lines) that can securely initialise and partition system hardware in preparation for the launch of an operating system or virtual machine manager.
Previously scheduled for 2006 at the earliest, Vanderpool technology for desktop computing is now due for release in the second half of 2005.
Vanderpool for virtualisation of Itanium servers will also be released in the second half of 2005, but Xeon servers will not have support before 2006.
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