Virtual Servers (For Real) - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Hardware & Infrastructure
11:25 AM
Connect Directly

Virtual Servers (For Real)

Xen open-source software should speed adoption of virtualization. But are IT teams ready to manage 1,000 virtual servers?

Matt Ayres, the president of a small Web-site hosting service, doesn't look at virtualization as a mere convenience or a handy way to centralize a few servers. With 1,000 virtual machines based on Xen open-source code, he has bet his future on it and believes it's the key differentiator between his company, TekTonic Network Solutions, and his competitors.

Ayres paid nothing for the software, but he successfully launched his service with 30 two-way servers using Advanced Micro Devices Inc. processors, subdivided into a thousand virtual machines. While competitors have to charge $100 a month for use of a single physical server, he drops fees to as low as $7.99 for a virtual machine. He and his staff of nine have found all the business they can handle.

As a two-year user of Xen, Ayres is at the forefront of what may become a flood in 2006. The first release of Xen 3.0, open-source code for generating virtual servers on Intel-based hardware, became available to developers last week. Its business-friendly features will help accelerate the trend toward virtualizing servers.

Data-center system suppliers, such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems, have been expecting that Xen will make virtualization more commonplace. Unlike Xen 2.0, which was limited to Linux, Xen 3.0 is more general-purpose since it can create Windows, Linux, and Solaris virtualized servers.

A community of developers, including Xen supporters at HP, IBM, and Sun, will test-drive the Xen 3.0 code looking for bugs and performance glitches before "a hardened version" becomes generally available in the first quarter of 2006, says Simon Crosby, chief technology officer of XenSource Inc., the company founded to support Xen.

"Our grandchildren will say, 'I can't believe you used to run computers that weren't virtualized,'" predicts Margaret Lewis, commercial software strategist with AMD. Both AMD and Intel have built virtualization hooks that help Xen and other virtualization software run efficiently on their new dual-core chips that will start appearing in servers in 2006.

Lewis believes dual core and virtualization will be natural allies. "The premise of virtualization is to take a machine and carve up its resources. With dual core, that means each virtual machine will have a robust source of CPU cycles," she says.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
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.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll