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Storage Virtualization Strides On

Storage virtualization has taken another leap forward with the announcement of 64-bit virtualization from XenSource today. (See XenSource Unveils XenEnterprise v4.)

The software vendor overhauled its flagship XenEnterprise offering today, adding a 64-bit hypervisor and enhanced support for storage virtualization. "It's really the current version of XenEnterprise on steroids," explains John Bara, XenSource's vice president of marketing.

At least one analyst feels the addition of a 64-bit hypervisor could spell good news for users. "I definitely think that it can boost performance of storage," says Chris Wolf, senior analyst at Burton Group, highlighting recent 64-bit announcements from the likes of DataCore, Asempra, and CommVault. (See DataCore Software, DNS Partner, DataCore Intros 6.0, Basler Uses DataCore, and CommVault Embraces Microsoft.)

Virtualization giant VMware currently offers a hybrid 64-bit hypervisor, which is essentially a 32-bit hypervisor that can load onto a 64-bit system. "Everyone is really heading down the road to a 64-bit hypervisor," says Wolf, adding that true 64-bit hypervisors offer a greater degree of scalability to users. "There's no magic that needs to be done to get it to scale up to the 64-bit hardware."

Today XenSource also added a feature called Resource Pools to XenEnterprise, effectively adding more flesh to the bones of its recently announced storage virtualization strategy. (See Symantec Drifts Into Xen.)

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