Intel said today that it will accelerate its Vanderpool programme to deliver enhanced virtualisation capabilities for PC clients and servers.
Virtualisation allows a platform to run multiple operating systems and applications in independent partitions, or 'containers', making it possible for one computer system to function as multiple 'virtual' systems.
Intel's announcement follows the release of its preliminary Vanderpool Technology External Architecture Specifications to encourage industry design collaboration in virtualisation.
While scheduled to ship in Itanium-based platforms this year, current efforts to develop the first Vanderpool-enabled virtual machine are currently expected to result in initial systems later this year.
The chip firm said that, using Vanderpool in the digital office and enterprise, businesses may be able to isolate a portion of a managed PC to perform system upgrades and maintenance without interrupting end users.
IT managers could create one desktop PC software 'build' that could function independently as both a business and personal system, helping to keep software loads separate. They could create systems that run different operating systems and software for different tasks or legacy applications.
Intel also claimed that Vanderpool could provide server consolidation, legacy migration and security benefits.
"There is little doubt across the industry that the potential benefits and applications of virtualisation for businesses and consumers are significant," said William Swope, corporate vice president and co-general manager of the Software and Solutions Group at Intel.
The Vanderpool specifications can be found here.
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