XenSource unwraps virtualization platform

XenEnterprise v4 virtualization software includes major enhancements that rival VMware

XenSource Monday rolled out its XenEnterprise v4 virtualization software which includes major enhancements that make it a rival to VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3. For instance, it contains a feature called XenMotion that allows the live migration of guest virtual machines to new servers and a new application program interface (API) that lets software vendors and original equipment manufacturers such as Symantec develop software that works with XenEnterprise.

By combining multiple host computers into a single virtualized pool of resources, XenMotion allows the non-disruptive migration of virtual machines between host computers, thus assuring the best use of resources, the company says. XenMotion competes with VMware's VMotion technology.

The 64-bit capability of the XenEnterprise Hypervisor supports as much as 128GB of physical memory and 32GB of memory per guest virtual machine. It also supports as much as eight-way symmetric multiprocessing per guest virtual machine.

A new Open Source Repository API supports direct-attached and shared network attached, iSCSI and storage-area network-based storage. An upcoming release of XenEnterprise will take advantage of this API to integrate Symantec's Veritas Storage Foundation. The Open Source Repository API also supports snapshotting, volume cloning and thin provisioning of storage assets.

XenEnterprise also features a new management interface called XenCenter, which uses Windows, and supports both 32- and 64-bit applications.

Many of the features of XenEnterprise are included in XenSource's XenServer and its freely downloadable XenEnterprise.

XenEnterprise 4 competes with VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3, a product that also includes SMP support, centralized management and migration of virtual machines. VMware, which holds 85% of the market according to IDC, is more expensive than XenEnterprise 4.VMware VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 is priced at $5,750 per two-socket server, with an additional $1,200 per month for support.

XenSource claims that more than 650 customers use XenEnterprise to virtualize x86 Windows and Linux computers.

XenEnterprise v4 is expected to be available next week starting at US$1,600 for an annual dual-socket server licence. A perpetual license is available for US$2,500. Support is US$500 a month.

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