VMware ESX 3.5 U2 Validated via SVVP

Via VMblog.com, I noted this press release by VMware:

VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter, today announced it has qualified its industry-leading VMware ESX hypervisor under the Microsoft Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP). VMware ESX 3.5 update 2 (ESX 3.5u2) is the first hypervisor to be listed under the program, providing VMware customers who run Windows Server and Microsoft applications with access to cooperative support from Microsoft and VMware.

That’s right, VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2 is the first hypervisor to be validated under SVVP, as I alluded in a previous Virtualization Short Take (with due credit to Gabe as well).

This is outstanding news! This now removes what is, in my mind, one of the most significant barriers to greater virtualization adoption. Full steam ahead!

UPDATE: In case anyone’s wondering about this press release, refer to this entry on the Windows Virtualization Team Blog. They confirm that ESX 3.5 Update 2 has indeed been validated.

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  1. Bert Bouwhuis’s avatar

    My guess is that the press release is actually referring to VMware’s participation in the VSSP programme and not to the validation itself. This is not only suggested by Adrian Jane’s quote (“We are pleased that VMware has joined the Server Virtual Validation Program and along with the other participants can bring the benefits of interoperability to our customers”), but also by the fact that MS’s official KB article (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/944987/) does not mention the validation.

    As far as I can see, the news in press release is just a couple of weeks overdue and we still have to wait for the validation itself to take place.

  2. slowe’s avatar

    I could be wrong, Bert, but I disagree. The news about VMware joining the SVVP occurred a couple of weeks ago, and the wording then was very clear that this was just talking about joining the SVVP. Now the wording is “it has qualified its…hypervisor”.

    In addition, there was numerous partner communications coming from VMware indicating that they planned to announce qualification (or validation) of ESX 3.5 Update 2 prior to VMworld. Gabe’s original post noted this, and I received similar communications myself. By all indications, this is indicative of the actual validation of the ESX hypervisor under SVVP and the establishment of cooperative support.

  3. Bert Bouwhuis’s avatar

    I hope your’re right on this Scott, though my gut reaction is otherwise :-)

    Remember that until now we’ve only read about VMware joining the SVVP in various blogs and VMware hasn’t published an official press release to that effect so far. Maybe their PR-staff is just a little slower than the blogoshpere?

  4. Jason Boche’s avatar

    Fantastic news for the VMware virtualization community for sure! Once again, VMware sets the bar for the rest to follow.

    One particular detail we must not lose site of in our celebration is that the qualifying hypervisor is ESX 3.5 Update 2. Those who are on ESX 2.x, 3.0.x, 3.5, or 3.5 Update 1 cannot jump for joy yet. Their environment must receive an upgrade to U2 first.

    Second, the SVVP program does not qualify hosted products such as VMware Workstation, Player, ACE, Fusion, Server, etc.

    Additionally, is there any fine print to the certification we need to be aware of? For instance, do the VMs need to be running a specific version of VMware Tools. One could assume we’d always be current on our tools but I’ll be the first to admit that in some cases we’ll lag behind for a period after the host upgrades.

    Lastly, I am curious what happens when new versions of ESX are released. Does the SVVP program need to re-certify new versions of ESX (and how long will this process take each time), or are the new versions automatically approved?


  5. Jason Boche’s avatar

    Oh I forgot, does certification on ESX also imply certification on ESXi embedded or installable? They should clarify.

  6. slowe’s avatar


    Great questions. I don’t know the answers, but here’s what I suspect:

    - I would suspect you’ll need to be running the latest version of VMware Tools.
    - I would imagine that new versions of ESX (major releases or minor releases) will need to be revalidated. Given the relatively short timeframe in which ESX 3.5 U2 was validated, it shouldn’t take all that long for new releases.
    - I think that ESXi is *NOT* included, and it will have to be validated separately.

    Thanks for reading!

  7. Mike’s avatar

    Bert, Scott linked to the press release from VMware in the first line of his post?

  8. slowe’s avatar

    Mike, as I understood it Bert’s main concern was the wording. Was this the “official” announcement of VMware’s addition to the SVVP (which never came, as I recall) or was it truly validation of the hypervisor? I can understand his position. Fortunately, this has been truly clarified by Patrick O’Rourke’s post indicating that ESX 3.5 U2 has indeed been validated. And, to echo his words, congratulations on achieving that validation so quickly!

  9. Bert Bouwhuis’s avatar

    Mike, Scott is right and it looks like Patrick has clarified things.

    Funny though that Patrck in his previous post on this item stated “First, ESX Server must go through and pass the validation test. Once validated, they’ll be added to KB article 944987, where we list ‘support partners for non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software.’ Today only Novell is listed, and that’s due to the broader technical collaboration agreement in place between the companies.” (see http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/archive/2008/08/19/Thoughts-on-today_2700_s-virtualization-licensing-and-support-news.aspx somewhere near the end).

    Until now, the KB 944987 article hasn’t been updated and is still only listing Novell…

  10. Bert Bouwhuis’s avatar

    Apparently, this http://windowsservercatalog.com/results.aspx?&bCatID=1521&cpID=0&avc=0&ava=0&avq=0&OR=1&PGS=25&ready=0 is the place where validated hypervisors are listed. The list not only includes ESX, but also Cisco Virtual Blades, as indicated by Chris Wolf (http://www.chriswolf.com/?p=189 ).

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