XenSource Names New CEO

Former Veritas exec Peter Levine takes the reins at the open-source virtualization startup.

Two months after releasing its first commercial products, open-source virtualization startup XenSource is changing leadership.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company announced Feb. 15 that Peter Levine, a longtime Veritas executive, will become CEO, replacing company co-founder Nick Gault.

Levine has spent the past three years as a managing director at investment firm Mayfield Fund, but before that he spent 11 years with Veritas in a variety of positions, including in product and platform development, OEM sales and marketing. He was with Veritas as it grew into a $1.5 billion company with more than 6,000 employees worldwide.

"Peter brings the exceptional industry leadership, depth of experience and strategic insight to capitalize on the huge demand for Xen-based virtualization solutions," Ian Pratt, Xen project leader and a XenSource co-founder, said in a statement. "The Xen open source community can have complete confidence in Peters commitment to the continued success of the project."

XenSource was created early last year by the initial developers of Xen, an open-source virtualization technology that mirrors what VMware software does in the x86 space. The Xen project in December released Xen 3.0, which offered new features aimed at large SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) environments.

Around the same time, XenSource released its first commercial product, dubbed XenOptimizer, designed to help users manage their Xen virtualized environments. XenSource officials argued that while the Xen hypervisor technology is free, companies like theirs will be able to make money by offering management and related software on top of Xen.

According to Pratt, there already have been more than 30,000 downloads of Xen since December.

"My goal is to extend XenSources position as the trusted leader in open source virtualization," Levine said in a statement. "The combination of next-generation open source technology, the advent of hardware virtualization [from chip makers Advanced Micro Devices and Intel] and an exploding growth market make XenSource a compelling opportunity. XenSource has tremendous growth potential and the ability to become the next leader in the infrastructure virtualization market."

XenSource will face stiff competition as it rolls out its products. Linux vendors Red Hat and Novells SuSE Linux unit both say they will incorporate Xen 3.0 into their operating systems, and major OEMs like Hewlett-Packard and IBM say they will support the technology as well. That puts XenSource in the position of trying to convince end users to go with its management software as opposed to more established, and bigger, players.


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