Hewlett-Packard Co. is upgrading its virtualization software offerings to help data centre managers better manage their virtual environments, while VMware Inc. is offering a virtualization capability for Web hosting companies.

HP has announced enhancements to its HP Virtual Server Environment software for its Integrity line of servers, which creates a pool of virtual servers that can expand and contract depending on capacity needs.

Virtualization refers to the practice of running multiple software applications on one physical server to enhance utilization. Previously, most servers were dedicated to running only one application, but that kept utilization rates as low as 15 per cent to 20 per cent. Virtualization increases server utilization, thus reducing the need to buy, power, cool and manage additional servers.

HP also offers a specific software tool, Integrity Essentials Capacity Advisor, for easing the migration of data from Sun