Virtual Iron, XenSource to Unveil Xen 3.0 Products at LinuxWorld

The companies view Xen 3.0 as their key to competing with virtualization giant VMware.

Virtual Iron Software and XenSource plan to rely on Xen 3.0 as their key to competing with virtualization giant VMware. At the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo this week in Boston, both companies were slated to unveil products based on the open-source virtualization technology.

Virtual Iron this summer will release for beta testing Version 3 of its namesake virtualization and management platform, moving it off its proprietary hypervisor and onto Xen 3.0. Officials with the Lowell, Mass., company said the combination of Xen and on-chip virtualization technology from Advanced Micro Devices and Intel will enable them to offer a product that gives users the same functionality as VMware technology but at a lower price.

"Theres not an account that VMware hasnt sold into," said Mike Grandinetti, vice president and chief marketing officer for Virtual Iron. "Theyre everywhere. But what weve been hearing repeatedly [from customers] is, Boy, Id love to have an alternative."

Virtual Iron Platform Version 3 will include the Xen hypervisor and the companys virtualization software stack and management capabilities. The upgrade will come in three editions—for the open-source community, professionals and enterprises—and initially will be available for beta testing for Linux in July, followed by Windows support in September.

XenSource, a Palo Alto, Calif., company founded by the developers of Xen, this summer will launch XenEnterprise, a packaged offering that includes Xen 3.0, guest installers and tools for migrating workloads from physical to virtual machines. As with Virtual Iron and its offering, XenSource will take advantage of hardware-based virtualization from AMD and Intel to enable multiple operating systems—including Linux and Microsoft Windows—to run on Xen VMs, said Chief Technology Officer Simon Crosby. Last fall, XenSource had put another management product, XenOptimizer, out for beta testing, but testers said they were more interested in a product with Xen hypervisor.