VMware, Zimbra unveil integration plan, cloud appliance

VMware and Zimbra are detailing how their products fit together as the two companies integrate their line-ups. First up, a Zimbra appliance.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

VMware and Zimbra on Tuesday launched a collaboration appliance and said their respective product lines are now integrated.

Enterprise email provider Zimbra, the former Yahoo unit acquired by VMware in January, has been operating under new ownership for most of the year. The key takeaways:

  • Zimbra has a much bigger sales footprint as the company went from 1,000 resellers to 25,000 under VMware.
  • Zimbra now has 60 million email boxes.
  • VMware and Zimbra are being packaged together.
  • Zimbra is now integrated with VMware's vSphere operating systems.
  • The two companies are launching a Zimbra appliance that's designed to ramp up corporate email accounts. The Zimbra appliance runs on VMware's vSphere.

Simply put, life for Zimbra is a bit easier under VMware than Yahoo, which didn't quite know what to do with the company. At the least, VMware can give Zimbra a lot more distribution.

John Robb, senior director of products and marketing at VMware, said the plan is to take Zimbra and the company's virtualization lineup and give customers "a personal cloud on a laptop." Zimbra plans to make it easier to work online, offline and tie into VMware's tools.

One of the more important developments is the Zimbra appliance.

This Zimbra appliance includes an email and collaboration server, native support for mobile devices, an advanced Web client, Web-based administration and automated updates. The appliance will $625 for 25 email accounts and a perpetual license.

And then there's the integration with vSphere, which has the potential to carry along Zimbra's turnkey email along with implementations.

The next challenge for VMware is to leverage its infrastructure to sell more Zimbra accounts.

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