VMware and IBM to support ESX Server on AS/400?

On IBM Redbooks department website a new residency program appeared: Running VMware ESX Server on IBM System i, IS-7727-R01.

The vague description seems to state VMware is going to support System i (AS/400) architectures in future:

With future release of i5/OS, VMWare ESX Servers will have the capability to do VMotion on the System i platform. Shared storage between VMWare ESX Servers, which will be new in a future release, enables this. VMWare VMotion technology provides the virtualization flexibility of servers, storage, and networking to move an entire running virtual machine instantaneously from one server to another.

In this residency, you help to produce an IBM Redbooks document that includes the following topics:

  • Planning of VMotion for the System i platform
  • Implementation of applications using VMotion on the System i platform
  • Best practices for VMWare ESX Server implementation on the System i platform such as backup and recovery, number and size of Network Server Description, and storage

Note that this Residency program has to complete within November 16th, which possibly means the related Redbook will be published somewhere in 2008.

After introducing to 3rd party virtual switches this may be another remarkable change VMware is going to introduce in ESX Server.

Update: Massimo Re Ferrè, Architect at IBM, provided virtualization.info clarifications about this Residency program, pointing to the following IBM announcement:

IBM announced that the System i integration with iSCSI attached BladeCenter and System x servers has been enhanced to provide virtual storage support for VMware ESX server 3.0.1.

This support will enable System i customers to install ESX server on an iSCSI attached BladeCenter or System x server and use the System i disks for all of the storage for the ESX server, extending the value of the i5/OS storage management.

Support will be delivered via i5/OS PTFs. This support will be made generally available on September 14, 2007.