News
News
3/7/2006
04:47 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Intel Backs VMware And Microsoft, But Xen Wins Big At IDF

Intel snuggled up to VMware and Microsoft at its developer's forum but it's Xen that will benefit most from the company's latest batch of virtualization technology-enabled server chips, sources claim.

Intel snuggled up to VMware and Microsoft at its developer's forum but it's Xen that will benefit most from the company's latest batch of virtualization technology-enabled (VT) server chips, sources claim.

The shipment of Intel's enhanced VT-enabled server processors this month, code-named Dempsey, will help extend Xen's footprint, observers note.

That is because the recently released Xen 3.0 open source hypervisor offers support for VT and will virtualize any guest operating system including Windows and Netware workloads, said sources close to Xen.

In the past, Xen supported Linux and Solaris only. Xen 3.0 was completed last December.

Xen will be integrated into next generation SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 from Novell this spring and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 later this year, sources said.

It will also enable the commercial firm that sprung out of the open source project, Xensource, to ship its new XenOptimizer with support for Windows as well as Linux and Sun Solaris. Optimizer, based on Xen 3.0, is slated to ship in April, sources close to Xensource said.

Xensource executives said having the VT technology available in new server processors and Xen software available for commercial support from Xensource, Red Hat and Novell in 2006 will vastly expand its market beyond Linux and Solaris customers.

"It's a big deal," said Simon Crosby, CTO at Xensource, Palo Alto, Calif. "It brings us the ability to virtualize all operating systems on the x86 architecture, and hands us on a plate a hardware implementation of everything VMware has done over the last five years."

Market leader VMware, for its part, said it plans to exploit Intel's server VT technology to enhance the performance of its leading ESX server. At IDF Tuesday, VMware unveiled that its ESX will offer commercial support for VT by the second half of 2006.

Microsoft, whose own Virtual Server competes against VMware in the Windows-only server space, plans to support VT in its Virtual Server 2005 R2 service pack 1, scheduled for beta release in the next 90 days, Microsoft said at IDF. Microsoft also plans to integrate its own virtualization hypervisor in a future version of its Windows server.

Xen claims that VT incorporates much of the functionality offered in its rivals' respective proprietary virtualization servers.

VMware and Microsoft say nevertheless VT enhances the performance of their platforms and other forthcoming virtual technologies from Intel will help them add value to their commercial leading platforms.

At IDF, for instance, both VMware and Microsoft announced plans to support Intel's next virtualization technology, called Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (Intel VT-d).

Microsoft developed the specification with Intel. The VT extension helps improve the reliability, performance and flexibility of I/O devices on virtual machines.

One consultant said having several choices in the virtualization software market is important because demand is soaring as customers and their advisers realize the many benefits offered by the technology.

"A lot of customer are looking at virtualization, especially in disaster recovery, compliance and business continuity," said Michael Miller, executive vice president of Consultrix Technologies, a VMware partner and consulting firm in Little Ridgeland, Miss. "In those areas, virtualization is going extremely well. Most everybody wants to have a real-time, full-time hot site disaster recovery scenario but it's something few can afford."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government Tech Digest Oct. 27, 2014
To meet obligations -- and avoid accusations of cover-up and incompetence -- federal agencies must get serious about digitizing records.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of October 26, 2014 and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.