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Xen makes noise in the virtualization market

Dec 12, 20052 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsOpen SourceServer Virtualization

* Xen ships commercial version of its open-source virtualization software

The Xen hypervisor open-source server virtualization software package made some serious buzz last week, as a commercial version of the software was announced, as well as a new version of the Xen package.

Like Linux for server operating systems, Apache for Web serving and MySQL for databases, Xen is the open-source community’s answer for commercial server virtualization products, such as the well-known VMWare platform. Xen allows users to set up virtual machines, servers that stand alone on a network as an independent server, but share common processing, memory, storage, I/O and networking hardware. Xen lets users deploy Linux or other operating systems on top of commodity server hardware the same way Linux operating systems run on top of a large IBM zSeries or other mainframe platforms.

XenSource, which aims to be the Red Hat of the open-source virtualization world, sells support for Xen hypervisor and released its XenOptimizer product last week. XenOptimizer allows Xen users to set up and configure multiple server instances of Linux, running either on Intel or IBM Power hardware through a GUI interface and automated tools. The software package also includes a tool for monitoring and configuring each server instance on a machine. Users can tweak and tune each virtual server in terms of CPU and memory utilization, storage resources they access, and security configurations and access privileges.

In addition to XenOptimizer, XenSource also announced the release of Xen 3.0, the first update to the open-source package in a year. New features in the software include planned support for the latest AMD hardware, as well as increased support for Intel-based virtualized machines with up to 32 processors in a box. Xen 3.0 also allows 32-bit and 64-bit servers to handle larger memory spaces, with up to 4G bytes of memory support for 32-bit and a terabyte of memory support for 64-bit processors.

Xen 3.0 and XenOptimizer are available now.