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HERNDON, Va. -- works in the dangerous area of sorting through e-mail to filter out viruses and junk e-mails known as "spam," so that its clients receive only the e-mails they want to see. For higher levels of control and security, it uses open source virtualization software, known as OpenVZ.

"In our business, it's a necessity to have redundant systems in different locations in case bad things happen," says Marc Perkel, support manager at "People are dependent on us to get their e-mail through, so we cannot afford downtime."

The company has set up virtual servers with OpenVZ operating system server virtualization software and maintains backups so that, if necessary, a virtual server can be restored on another physical server and started up immediately.

There are four OpenVZ virtual servers on each of four physical servers that run e-mail server software, MySQL and SpamAssassin with virtual servers as large as 4 gigabytes.

"OpenVZ has almost no overhead, so we are giving up almost nothing in terms of performance to run virtual servers," says Perkel. "In our experience, OpenVZ has been compatible with most everything we run so it's one of those 'just works' solutions."

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