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Red Hat, Novell Vie For Linux Virtualization Title

Red Hat and Novell will extol the virtues of Xen in the coming days as the two battle for leadership in the Linux virtualization market.

Roughly a week before Novell kicks off its annual Brainshare conference and details Xen support in its next Linux upgrade, Red Hat is expected on Tuesday to detail Xen virtualization support in its own Linux upgrade due out in 2006.

Novell stands to beat Red Hat to market with a built-in Xen hypervisor in Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10, slated to ship this spring. But on Tuesday, Red Hat will announce virtualization support for its upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 upgrade on stage with a top executive from XenSource, the creator of the Xen open-source project.

Industry observers say Red Hat will introduce Frank Artale, who was named vice president of business development at XenSource last week. Artale most recently was a member of venture capital firm Accel Partners and previously founded Consera Software, which was sold to Hewlett-Packard. He also was an executive at Veritas Software and a general manager in the Windows 2000 group at Microsoft.

One source close to Xen said that XenSource--the commercial firm that sprung from the Xen open-source project--is trying to capitalize on the market power of top Linux leader Red Hat. Meanwhile, Red Hat is attempting to pre-empt Novell, he added.

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