VMware has announced three new VMware Infrastructure product packages tailored for small and medium businesses (SMEs). The new bundles are designed to enable IT administrators and decision makers at SMEs to easily deploy virtual infrastructure and quickly reap its transformative benefits. The bundles are expected to be available later this year.

"Virtualisation is enabling companies of all sizes to reduce the cost and complexity of IT," says Ben Matheson, director of SMB at VMware.  "For SMEs, this means optimizing existing IT investments while providing enterprise-class benefits of virtualisation such as disaster recovery, high availability, simplified IT management and reduced energy costs.
"Deploying virtualisation translates into better service levels, and it enables customers to spend less on IT and reinvest these savings in their businesses. The new VMware Infrastructure packaging delivers the features, functionality and training that will help enable SMEs to more rapidly experience the value of virtual infrastructure."
According to industry analyst firm The Yankee Group, virtualisation deployments among SMEs – companies with less than 100 servers or fewer than 1 000 employees – is expected to double during the next two years.
"Virtualisation has become a mainstream technology force, influencing IT architecture decisions for companies of all sizes," says Gary Chen, senior analyst at The Yankee Group. "For SMEs, this means evaluating the A-to-Z benefits of virtualization such as server consolidation, business continuity and disaster recovery for use on current IT assets while planning for future growth.
"The new VMware Infrastructure 3 Acceleration Kits provide a cost-effective way for SMEs to get started with virtualisation quickly while enabling the organisation to scale as their business needs evolve. We see virtualisation adoption as a trend in the SMB space that will continue to aggressively grow over time."
The SMB bundles are based on the latest release of VMware Infrastructure. The product brings new offerings that are designed to decrease power consumption, eliminate manual tracking and patching of virtual infrastructure and increase overall infrastructure availability.
New products and features in VMware Infrastructure that are ideal for SMEs include VMware ESX Server 3i, VMware Guided Consolidation and VMware Update Manager. VMware ESX Server 3i, VMware's next-generation thin hypervisor delivered as embedded firmware in server systems from major OEM vendors or as a standalone product, will help enable customers to more easily and quickly deploy virtualization in their environments. VMware Guided Consolidation is designed to enable companies to more easily migrate from physical servers to virtual infrastructure using a step-by-step wizard that identifies physical servers for consolidation, converts them to virtual machines and intelligently places them onto the most ideal VMware ESX Server or VMware Server host. VMware Update Manager will automate patch and update management for VMware ESX Server hosts and virtual machines and is designed to relieve the significant pain point of tracking patch levels and manually applying security and bug fixes.