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XenSource prepares to release virtualization software

Dec 08, 20052 mins
Data Center

* XenSource to ship XenOptimizer early next year

XenSource, the company charged with commercializing the open source Xen virtualization technology, this week announced XenOptimizer, its first software that allows users to create virtual machines from physical ones.

XenSource was founded by the group that created the open source Xen hypervisor at the University of Cambridge. The company introduced XenOptimizer, software that lets users install, configure and manage Xen virtualized servers and workstations. Xen works in Linux environments and lets users increase server utilization, improve application performance and reduce the IT costs of administering a virtualized environment. (Read what prospective customers think of XenSource.)

Simon Crosby, CTO for XenSource claims that Xen has 10 times better performance than VMware’s GSX because it uses 10 times less overhead.

“In particular, Xen uses Intel’s VT features and AMD’s Pacifica, which will ship next year,” says Crosby. “You get hardware virtualization support which gives us the ability to support all operating systems equally as easily and it gives us hardware-based support for virtualization.”

XenOptimizer is built on Xen 3.0, which uses a paravirtualization technology in which the hypervisor works in cooperation with hosted guest virtual machines to obtain optimum performance (See “Virtual Iron to manage Xen open source virtual machine monitor”)

XenOptimizer includes a dashboard that provides a centralized point of management and monitoring of CPU, memory, network and storage resources. Using drag-and-drop technology, IT administrators can provision virtual servers. 

The software is currently in beta and is expected to be generally available early next year. The software, which can run on between 10 and 100 servers, will be enhanced in the future to run on more. It will also be tied into management frameworks from vendors such as IBM Tivoli, CA and HP in the future.

Although, pricing was not disclosed, company officials said that it would be by physical server.