Virtual Iron, SWsoft Look to Linux to Run Virtualization Tools

SWsoft's Virtuozzo for Linux 3.0 lets users move virtual servers between physical systems with no interruption to the end users, while Virtual Iron is shipping its data center platform with SUSE Enterprise Server 9.

Virtualization software makers SWsoft and Virtual Iron are expanding the reach of their products in Linux environments.

SWsoft on Feb. 7 will release Virtuozzo for Linux 3.0, which will enable users to move virtual servers between physical systems with no interruption to the end users. At the same time, the Herndon, Va., company will roll out Virtuozzo for Windows 3.5.1, which offers easier physical-to-virtual migration capabilities and support for Microsofts recently released Windows Server 2003 R2.

For its part, Virtual Iron, of Lowell, Mass., will announce Feb. 6 that its data center virtualization and management platform is now shipping in Novells SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.

The moves come as businesses look to virtualization to address a number of their needs, including better server utilization, greater data center flexibility and reduced power costs.

Analyst firm IDC, of Framingham, Mass., predicts that spending on virtualization technology will reach almost $15 billion by 2009. IDC analyst Vernon Turner, at a conference last week regarding power and cooling in the data center, said that about 80 percent of all data centers are using virtualization in some form.

IDC is hosting a conference Feb. 6 in New York focused on virtualization. The technology enables users to pool data center resources and parcel them out as needed to meet business demands.

SWsoft CEO Serguei Beloussov said that improvements in the Linux operating system—such as the greater scalability and stability in the 2.6 kernel—have made the open-source operating system a good fit with virtualization.

With the new version of Virtuozzo for Linux, users working with applications on a Virtual Private Server no longer have to stop what theyre doing during a migration of the VPS and will be unable to detect the move, Beloussov said. Previously, administrators would have to shut down the server on one machine before starting it up on another, which could take seconds.

"Now you dont have to even inform the users" when a migration takes place, he said.

The upgraded software also will enable users to more easily set up and manage a VPS. One such way is being able to create settings that can automatically be applied to a virtual server.

In the enhanced version for Windows, SWsoft offers support not only for Windows Server 2003 R2 and Small Business Server 2003, but also tools to more easily create and migrate to a virtual server.

Virtual Irons partnership with Novell, of Provo, Utah, is the latest in a string of agreements that the virtualization company has announced in recent months. In January, Virtual Iron joined Sun Microsystems Partner Advantage Program, and last fall it announced support for Suns Galaxy servers, powered by Advanced Micro Devices Opteron processor.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about Virtual Iron joining Suns Partner Advantage Program.

In September, Virtual Iron and Intel announced a partnership, and Intels investing arm, Intel Capital, invested money in the company.

"We are trying to round out partnerships with strategic vendors," said Mike Grandinetti, Virtual Irons chief marketing officer.

In SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, which began shipping a few weeks ago, Novell is including a preconfigured kernel for Virtual Irons virtualization and management platform, which virtualizes all data resources, from the server to storage devices and I/O.

"The companies were working with are very strongly determined to run mission-critical workloads … on Linux on x86," Grandinetti said.

Justin Steinman, director of worldwide data center marketing for Novell, said the company has seen strong migration from Unix to Linux and the OS is moving from the edge of the network deeper into the data center. Part of offering an enterprise-class virtualization solution is not only having the virtualization capabilities, but also the management tools, which Virtual Iron offers, he said.

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