AMD preps Pacifica virtualization technology

Quoting from eWeek:

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is countering Intel’s “Silvervale” virtualization technology with its own initiative, executives said late Wednesday.
“Pacifica” is being internally developed within AMD as an “advanced virtualization” technology, said Ben Williams, vice president of the enterprise workstation business at AMD, in an interview.

At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel executives have begun talking about several of their core processor technologies, including Silvervale, the hardware-assisted virtualization technology due to roll out next year. Intel also has an almost identical technology, called “Vanderpool,” which is designed for client platforms.

Both technologies are seen as vital to future development. “We are on record as saying that Vanderpool is the most significant change to PC architecture this decade,” said Martin Reynolds, a PC technology analyst at Gartner Inc., in San Jose, Calif.

Abhi Talwalkar, vice president of Intel’s Enterprise Platforms Group, described the Silvervale technology as a “key system strategy for IT managers” in a keynote address Tuesday. The dual-core “Montecito,” the next-generation Itanium processor, has already successfully booted this technology, he said. “Yonah,” Intel’s dual-core mobile chip due next year, uses the Vanderpool technology.

For now, the company is working with existing virtualization companies such as VMware and Microsoft to enable software-based virtualization, Williams said.
“We’re continuing down the path of how do I do server consolidation?virtualization is one way to do that,” he said.

Five years ago, the advent of Vanderpool and Silvervale might have commoditized VMware and run it out of business. Now, the technology may serve to emphasize the company’s other offerings, Reynolds said.

Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight64 in Saratoga, Calif., agreed. “It’s not really competitive with VMware,” he said.

“There are lots of system issues with Intel’s management technology,” Brookwood added, referring to the Intel Active Management Technology that Intel unveiled on Tuesday. “It’s the same with virtualization. It’s not a magic hardware technology. VMware and Virtual PC may run a little better on top of the technology,” and it won’t put them out of business, he said.