Virtualization software allows you to run many different servers on a single piece of hardware; it's all the rage with IT departments because it drastically reduces the number of servers you need. This translates into reduced energy consumption (fewer machines to draw juice), less maintenance (fewer machines to fix), and more dollars in your pocket (fewer machines to buy).
VMware, a commercial product with a good rep is the clear market leader. But now a worthy competitor - the Xen open source project - just got better. Xen just released a new version of its virtualization product this week, and apparently it boots gluteus maximus. From the article:
"For server workloads, Xen's core hypervisor functionality now meets or beats VMware ESX in pretty much all areas, both features and performance," said Ian Pratt, leader of the Xen project and founder of XenSource.
Hype? Probably not; the list of supporters (Intel, IBM, Novell, VA Linux (Japan), HP, Fujitsu, SGI, Red Hat, AMD, Sun, Unisys and the National Security Agency) is impressive. And the cost of the free software is zero; ironically, that always seems to be the hardest number for IT shops to swallow. But why buy? Put your saved cash into a green technology, say solar cells.
Xen says the next stop is laptops and desktops; no idea what that means but I'm sure it will be exciting:: ServerWatch