Open source Xen courts enterprise virtualization

Enterprise virtualization options have broadened with the open source vendor XenSource announcing it will take on the big guns with its own commercial software to run Windows and Linux guest operating systems.

This week XenSource, the company behind the open source Xen virtualization engine, announced its XenEnteprise software suite will support both Windows and Linux guest operating systems, paving the way for a third player in the commodity virtualization space alongside VMWare and Microsoft.

John Glendenning, XenSource's VP of worldwide sales, said the ability to run unmodified versions of Windows on Xen means the company can now offer the "same performance and 80 percent of the functionality at 20 percent of the cost" as the market leader VMWare.

Glendenning said because processor manufacturers were developing virtualization capabilities in parallel with the Linux-based Xen hypervisor, the Windows virtualization capabilities "matched the support" of existing solutions.

"We already have a short-term roadmap to close the gap with live migration built in and a commercialized, hardened, enterprise-grade product," he said, adding the company works with channel partners for support and sells software licences for revenue.

The XenEnterprise package includes additional functionality over the open source product including a management console, high-availability capability, and storage services support.