VMware gives away its hypervisor for virtual machines
Accompanying its second quarter report, virtualisation specialist VMware has announced that it will, in future, give away its previously licensable hypervisor ESXi for free. In September 2007, VMware announced plans to release a trimmed-down version of its virtual machine software for direct integration in servers without the management functions of a true ESX server. Up to now, excluding support the product has cost around $500. Starting this month, it will now be made available for free download with no reduction in functionality.
As explained by new VMware CEO Paul Maritz, the majority of the company's turnover comes from sales of its Virtual Infrastructure tool for managing virtualised systems. Giving away the hypervisor is the logical consequence of this. The fact that the new Windows Server 2008 also includes a hypervisor may have accelerated this decision. Although users choosing to forego the hypervisor get a $30 discount on the server licence from Microsoft, few users are likely to have exercised this option.
As far as the figures go, while VMware has failed to meet Wall Street expectations, it is in good enough shape. The yield per share is $0.13 and net profit $52 million on a turnover of $456 million. This represents an increase of $0.03 per share and a 54 per cent increase in turnover compared to the second quarter of 2007. Income from licensing sales rose by just under 40 per cent, whilst support, subscription and service income rose by 85 per cent. VMware also saw increases over its first quarter figures.