XenSource beefs up virtualization software

Xen 3.0 ships with features aimed at corporate customers, including high-end server support and an administration tool.

Martin LaMonica Former Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
Martin LaMonica
XenSource released on Monday the third version of its open-source virtualization software, which beefs up the product with features aimed at corporate customers.

Xen, a "hypervisor," is a thin layer of software that governs how different operating systems access computer resources, such as processors and memory. Virtualization software is used to draw more use of out servers by running several applications--potentially on different operating systems--on a single machine.

XenSource leads the open-source community that creates the Xen software and sells associated products and services.

Version 3 of Xen has been upgraded to run on large, multiprocessor servers with up to 32 processors and to allow administrators to "hot plug" processors to balance a computing load among different CPUs.

This new version runs natively on virtualization technologies built into Intel's chips. XenSource said it also intends to support AMD's Pacifica hardware virtualization in early 2006.

In addition, XenSource released XenOptimizer, an administration tool for managing large-scale implementations of virtual machines.