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XenSource's XenEnterprise

Virtualization will inevitably shrink the bite hardware takes out of our capital budgets. But VMware has somewhat dampened IT's enthusiasm by charging $3,000 per socket for its enterprise-class VMware ESX. Doesn't, say, $750 per perpetual dual-socket license sound a lot better?

At that price, XenSource's XenEnterprise 3.2 is an easy-to-install bargain that takes advantage of the open source Xen 3.04 hypervisor. For many organizations itching to get going with virtualization, XenEnterprise will serve nicely thanks to its solid performance and general ease of use. The current version has some drawbacks: For one, it doesn't yet support 64-bit Windows, but XenEnterprise 4.0 will and it's heading into beta now, with an expected mid-August production date.


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Adding to market pressure, Microsoft, another latecomer to the virtual machine party, will include a sufficiently robust virtualization offering as part of its new server operating system. In what has to be good news for XenSource, the big guns in Redmond have preannounced formal support and integration for Xen-based VMs as part of the next server build, to optimize Windows Server 2008 to run on Xen and to let XenVMs run on Server 2008. XenSource is partnering with Microsoft to optimize Win/Xen and Xen/Win performance.

Ain't competition grand?

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