XenSource opens virtualization to more demanding apps

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Server virtualization vendor XenSource Inc. has added symmetric multiprocessing support for some versions of Windows to its XenEnterprise software, as well as backward compatibility for hosting non-SMP systems running Windows 2000 Server.

XenSource, which develops commercial products based on the Xen open-source virtualization technology, announced on Monday a XenEnterprise 3.2 upgrade with SMP support for guest systems running Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

XenEnterprise, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company’s high-end offering, supports both Windows and Linux guests and can handle an unlimited number of virtual machines and up to 32 sockets for physical processors.

John Bara, the vendor’s vice president of marketing, said the new SMP capability is aimed at high-performance users as well as those running SQL Server and Exchange applications.

Many corporate users looking to consolidate their systems focus on virtualizing file, print and mail servers — not on machines running databases and other demanding applications, Bara said.

The new SMP feature is designed to address that by giving users the ability to virtualize compute-intensive workloads, he added. XenEnterprise 3.2 can support up to eight-way systems, such as a machine running two quad-core processors.

XenSource, which added the Windows version of XenEnterprise in December, said Version 3.2 also doubles the supported amount of memory for Windows guests to 8GB each.

A 30-day trial version of XenEnterprise 3.2 is available for download from XenSource’s Web site at no charge. Pricing for the software on a dual-socket server starts at US$488 for an annual subscription license and $750 for a perpetual license.

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