Tech Industry

OpenVZ virtualization heads to Power chips

SWsoft programmers have created a version of the Linux virtualization software that works on Power processors.

SWsoft programmers have created a version of the OpenVZ Linux virtualization software that works on Power processors, the company plans to announce Friday.

OpenVZ lets a single version of the Linux operating system be subdivided into semi-independent domains through a technology called virtualization. OpenVZ is at the heart of SWsoft's Virtuozzo software.

OpenVZ software is useful for increasing Linux server efficiency, but most attention today is devoted to a different technology, Xen, which lets multiple independent operating systems run. The two technologies aren't mutually exclusive, but adopting even one of them involves significant changes to administration policies and practices.

OpenVZ already worked on x86 and Itanium processors, but programmers modified it to work on Power chips, used formerly in Apple Computer's Macintoshes but now most often found in IBM System p servers. IBM, which is encouraging Linux programmers to bring their software to Power-based computers, provided hardware to support the new version, an SWsoft representative said.

The Power software so far is available only in the development version of OpenVZ. IBM and Freescale Semiconductor make Power processors.

Software that runs on multiple server types is useful for Linux sellers such as Red Hat or Novell, which sell products for a variety of machines. SWsoft is trying to make OpenVZ a standard part of the heart of Linux.