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VMware vSphere™ 4 Achieves Substantial Leaps in Virtualization Performance

VMware vSphere™ 4 Achieves Substantial Leaps in Virtualization Performance

VMware vSphere 4 Demonstrates Industry-Leading Application Throughput, Virtualization Efficiency and Hardware Support, Enabling Large Applications to Be Run in the Cloud

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 21, 2009 — VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, today heralded a new era in virtualization performance with the introduction of  VMware vSphere 4, extending scalability limits for servers and virtual machines. (See press release, “VMware Unveils the Industry’s First Operating System for Building the Internal Cloud— VMware vSphere 4.”) With industry-leading support for new hardware virtualization assist features and a highly-optimized I/O system, VMware vSphere 4 is the industry’s first operating system for building the internal cloud.  These new architectural enhancements enable even the most business-critical, transaction-heavy applications, such as SAP, Microsoft Exchange together with their SQL and Oracle databases, to be run on a 100 percent virtualized internal cloud powered by VMware vSphere 4.

“VMware vSphere 4 is setting new records in virtualization performance as the result of continuous improvements to the software and years of diligent work with hardware vendors,” said Dr. Stephen Herrod, chief technology officer of VMware. “This translates into higher consolidation ratios and application performance that meets, and in some cases exceeds, that of physical deployments. VMware vSphere 4 helps take performance objections off the table for even the highest-end applications, allowing the virtualization benefits of higher availability, security, and automation to shine in the cloud.”

VMware has demonstrated new record performance results and new performance maximums with VMware vSphere 4 including:

  • Record number of transactions per second. New performance throughput record of 8,900 database transactions per second, as demonstrated on Oracle database with an OLTP workload modeled after TPC-C*.
  • Lowest demonstrated virtualization overheads with respect to native.  New performance efficiencies with resource-intensive SQL Server databases utilizing up to 8 CPUs per VM and running at up to 90 percent of native or better as tested by an OLTP workload modeled after TPC-E*.
  • Record I/O throughput. 3x increase in the maximum recorded I/O operations per second. VMware vSphere 4 triples the maximum recorded I/O operations per second to more than 300,000. For comparison purposes, according to data from VMware Capacity Planner, most demanding databases that are on Intel architecture servers usually require a few tens of thousands of I/O operations per second. VMware vSphere 4 also includes a newly rewritten storage stack that demonstrates full wire speed on 10 Gbps iSCSI connections.
  • Record network throughput. Improved virtual machine networking and support for NetQueue that shows up to 100 percent improvement in network throughput and fully saturating hardware bus limits of 30 Gpbs.
  • Demonstrated 30 percent improved efficiency for Citrix XenApp.  An improved architecture and support for new hardware can drive consolidation ratios much higher for this and similar applications.

These record breaking performance improvements are the result of unique core technologies and architecture improvements in VMware vSphere 4, including:

  • Networking performance. VMware vSphere 4 comes with enhancements to NetQueue – VMware’s support for Intel’s VM-optimized networking technology VMDq. vmxnet3, the third generation of VMware’s paravirtualized virtual machine network drivers, and with optional receive-side scaling (RSS), which additionally speeds up network throughput.
  • Storage I/O performance.  VMware vSphere 4 incorporates a new paravirtualized virtual machine storage device called pvscsi which improves the throughput for storage access. It also implements advanced concurrency I/O, which optimizes storage throughput for high-transaction-rate workloads. 
  • Improved consolidation ratios. VMware vSphere 4 includes a greatly optimized processor scheduler which is now cache hierarchy-aware and can deliver more database transactions, web page requests, and email messages than any other hypervisor.
  • Support for hardware assist for virtualization. VMware has been working with processor vendors AMD and Intel, to incorporate their hardware assist for virtualization in to our software. VMware was the first virtualization vendor to support first generation enhancements from AMD and Intel in 2006.  In 2008, VMware became the first to support the second generation AMD-Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI) technology, and is now the first and only to support Intel’s Extended Page Tables (EPT) and VMDq technology.   
Scalability improvements

VMware vSphere 4 also introduces new scalability capabilities.  By expanding server resource support to 1 TB of RAM and 64 logical processing cores, some of the very largest and most powerful servers can be leveraged for virtual workloads.  With support for up to 256 GB of RAM and eight virtual CPUs per virtual machine, nearly 100 percent of resource-intensive workloads such as high-end databases are suitable for virtualization.

VMware vSphere 4 is expected to be generally available later in Q2 2009.

Additional information on VMware performance can be found at

*Non-comparable implementation of TPC-C workload; results not TPC-C compliant; deviations from the spec: batch benchmark, undersized database not TPC-C compliant.

About VMware

VMware (NYSE: VMW) is the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter—bringing cloud computing to businesses of all sizes.  Customers rely on VMware to reduce capital and operating expenses, ensure business continuity, strengthen security and go green. With 2008 revenues of $1.9 billion, more than 130,000 customers and more than 22,000 partners, VMware is one of the fastest growing public software companies. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is majority-owned by EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC).  For more information, visit

VMware vSphere is a registered trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements made in this press release which are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements and are subject to the safe harbor provisions created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate, but are not limited, to, expectations for the release and delivery of our products.  Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of certain risk factors, including but not limited to: (i) the duration and deepening of negative economic or market conditions; (ii) delays or reductions in consumer or information technology spending; (iii) competitive factors, including but not limited to pricing pressures, industry consolidation, entry of new competitors into the virtualization market, and new product and marketing initiatives by our competitors; (iv) our customers’ ability to develop, and to transition to, new products, (v) the uncertainty of customer acceptance of emerging technology initiatives; (vi) rapid technological and market changes in virtualization software; (vii) changes to product development timelines; and (viii) our ability  to attract and retain highly qualified employees.  These forward looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to uncertainties and changes in condition, significance, value and effect as well as other risks detailed in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, which could cause actual results to vary from expectations. VMware disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements after the date of this release.