Hitachi announces Virtage

Quoting from the Hitachi official announcement:

Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., today announced BladeSymphony with Virtage, the first blade server to provide users with enterprise-class data center functionality. The new product, the latest member of Hitachi BladeSymphony series, includes Virtage, a breakthrough embedded virtualization feature.
The feature, which builds virtualization right into a blade server?s hardware for the first time, provides customers an alternative to third-party software solutions and thus can enable them to decrease overhead costs while increasing manageability and performance.

BladeSymphony with Virtage is a 10U chassis, supporting hot-swappable blades capable of running both Windows and Linux. Built on standards-based multi-core Intel processors with Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel VT), the product allows users to combine, scale, and virtualize BladeSymphony blades based on Dual-Core Intel Itanium 2 9000 Series processors…

BladeSymphony with Virtage will be generally available in January 2007 and will have a starting cost of $25,000.

Check the announcement webcast here (registration required).

At the moment there are no documents describing how Virtuage works or compares with VMware, Microsoft or Xen hypervisors, so wait before considering this system a valid alternative to existing solutions.