Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) is offering to provide a VMWare Infrastructure 3 solution for a free 45-day trial period to allow organisations to conduct detailed proof-of-concept and sizing analyses. FSC is also offering a special trade-in deal on its Primergy servers.

Virtualisation lets IT managers cram multiple computing functions onto one computer so that one physical server can perform the function of two or more machines, saving time, space, energy and money. But getting an organisation's datacentre to the point where it can start realising all that's promised by virtualisation isn't as easy as it could or should be.

Therefore, businesses looking to deploy virtualisation are invited to apply for a free half-day of consulting, which would usually be charged at £800. It will be provided by a VMWare Consultant from the Fujitsu Siemens Computers Infrastructure Services arm, which provides a range of specialist advice, integration and support services to enterprise organisations.

The campaign is designed to make it easier for customers to explore the potential benefits of virtualising their server estates and deploying VMWare.

Currently, the perception is that the industry is making consolidation and virtualisation too complex. And it seems that some myths and misconceptions about virtualisation are confusing customers.

Dell, for example, has said that some of its customers asked if they needed blades to virtualise, yet it's not in customers' best interests to be automatically steered to blade servers as part of their consolidation and virtualisation efforts, even though they do take up considerably less physical space and consume less energy in the datacentre. Blades should be an option, but not a mandate. Equally, virtualisation shouldn't be driven into proprietary systems.

The VMWare Infrastructure 3 solution can be downloaded and evaluated free of charge by customers for a 45-day period. It enables 10 or more virtual machines to be run on each physical processor. It provides organisations with the capability to consolidate servers, increase operational efficiency and minimise downtime, said VMWare.

VMware Infrastructure 3 virtualises servers, storage and networks, to transform IT infrastructure into an automated, always-on computer 'utility plant.'

"While virtualisation has been one of the most talked-about subjects in IT over the past two years and we have all heard about the savings in terms of space, power, cooling, cabling, storage and components, it is not always easy for an organisation to understand exactly how to derive maximum value from any project undertaken," said Gary Fowle, Marketing Director at FSC.

"We are trying to make it easier for customers to make a detailed assessment, without risk or obligation and providing them with an opportunity to upgrade their servers and bring them together into an environment that is more manageable, cost-effective and power-efficient," he added.