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Intel Corp. on Thursday said it would  speed up deployment of microprocessors and chipsets supporting so-called virtualization capabilities code-named Vanderpool for desktops, workstations and servers. Instead of 2006, the technology will become commercially available in 2005.

Virtualization Needed - Intel

Virtualization allows a platform to run multiple operating systems and applications in independent partitions or “containers.” One physical compute system can function as multiple “virtual” systems. Vanderpool Technology can help improve future virtualization solutions.

Within the digital office and enterprise, businesses for example will be able to isolate a portion of a managed PC to perform system upgrades and maintenance without interrupting the end-user. IT managers could also create one desktop PC build that can function independently as both a business and personal system, keeping software loads and virus attacks separate, or one that runs different operating systems and software for different or legacy tasks. Multiple servers can be combined into one system, running different applications and operating systems, providing advantages for IT tasks such as server consolidation, legacy migration and security.

Home users could create virtual “partitions” isolating multiple user environments such as dedicating resources to a PC game, productivity, and personal video recorder-type environments, as well as improve defenses against viruses or spyware.

Vanderpool Technology (VT) is a set of hardware enhancements to Intel server and client platforms that can improve virtualization solutions.

Intel’s Virtualization Explained

Virtualization allows a platform to run multiple operating systems and applications in independent partitions or “containers.” One physical computer system can function as multiple “virtual” systems.

Vanderpool Technology (VT) is a set of hardware enhancements to client and server platforms that can help improve virtualization solutions. Vanderpool technology is a flexible architecture that is not specific to any one particular operating system or solution stack. However, Intel said, a special software would still be required to enable and take advantage of virtualization: virtual machine monitor (VMM) solutions that has full control of the processor and other platform hardware. VMM is able to retain selective control of processor resources, physical memory, interrupt management as well as I/O capabilities.

“VMM software can create multiple independent software environments inside a single PC or server today. But with VT, there is an opportunity to deliver a more robust and resilient solution,” Intel spokeswoman Christione Dotts told X-bit labs.

Processor support for virtualization is provided by a new form of processor operation that is called VMX. Intel says there are two kinds of VMX operation: root and non-root.

“We are working with virtualization software vendors to enable VT-aware virtualization capabilities as core OS features, but we also expect virtual machine monitor (VMM) solutions in the future that work with existing OS’s,” the spokeswoman added.

More Details – at IDF

Even though Intel Corp. did not say exactly which platforms are expected to support the Vanderpool technology this year, it may be assumed that the platform to bring Virtualization is the same that brings dual-core to x86 desktops – Smithfield central processing units as well as Glenwood and Lakeport chipsets.

While expected in Itanium-based platforms this year, Intel now also plans to offer Vanderpool Technology in future desktop processor and chipset products in 2005, a year earlier than previously planned.

More details of solutions based on Intel’s Vanderpool Technology solutions will be disclosed at Intel Developer Forum, March 1-3, 2004, in San Francisco.

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