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8/9/2005
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Virtualization Big At LinuxWorld

Virtualization is being heard all over the LinuxWorld Expo this week, with several established and startup vendors touting new ways to make the data center more virtual.

Virtualization is being heard all over the LinuxWorld Expo this week, with several established and startup vendors touting new ways to make the data center more virtual.

VMware this week is introducing an initiative with several other hardware and software vendors to develop virtualization standards, said Jeffrey Englemann, executive vice president of marketing at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company.

Joining VMware in the initiative are AMD, BEA Systems, BMC Software, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Computer Associates International, Dell, Emulex, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Mellanox, Novell, QLogic, Red Hat, and Virtual Iron Software.

Not joining so far are key competitors such as Microsoft and Herndon, Va.-based SWsoft. "We would like them to be involved," said Karthik Rau, director of product management.

VMware also is introducing its new Community Source program, which provides developers access to the VMware ESX Server source under a royalty-free license, Englemann said. "We want to make it easier for partners to accelerate virtualization solutions in the market," he said.

Acton, Mass.-based Virtual Iron, which in February came out of stealth mode, is using LinuxWorld to try to make its mark with technology to automate data center operations, said Mike Grandinetti, chief marketing officer at the company.

The company's software automates the management of data centers by allowing customers to set and implement policies, said Grandinetti. For instance, a company can have servers configured to run simulations or other processor-intensive applications during the night, and reconfigured to run applications for specific departments at night, he said.

The software also allows customers to spawn or create new virtual machines, boot the new machines, move applications between machines, pause and restart applications or servers, and shut applications or servers down, all via policies or, for Linux users, scripts, Grandinetti said.

The company is just now starting to roll out its channel program, and is looking for a small number of solution providers with data center and virtualization experience, he said.

LinuxWorld also saw Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Opsware unveil a new shell technology to enable the management of Unix, Linux, and Windows systems from a single universal shell, company executives said.

The technology, Opsware Global Shell, allows concurrent operations to be done in parallel on hundreds or thousands of servers using standard scripts and languages, the officials said.

Platform Computing, Markham, Ontario, used LinuxWorld to introduce its Platform VM Orchestrator, a technology to allow companies to automate tasks across virtual machine environments. Platform VMO allows dynamic balance and control of resources in real time, auto-provisioning according to business policies, support of virtual machine containers from multiple vendors including VMware, and scalability.

Platform VMO is based on the company's Platform Enterprise Grid Orchestrator. Platform EGO helps companies set up a grid infrastructure using existing hardware, data, and services using a standards-based tool kit, the officials said.

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