The Xen virtual machine monitor will enable virtualisation to expand its current six per cent market share and become a ubiquitous technology, XenSource chief executive Peter Levine told delegates in a keynote presentation at the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco.
Virtualisation has been around on mainframe systems for decades and has been popularised by VMware for use on industry standard x86 servers.
VMware is also lacking in innovation because it is a closed source application. "Xen Enterprise is virtualisation for the remaining 94 per cent," Levine told delegates.
Support for virtualisation in processors, and the ability to share device drivers between a virtual compartment and the main operating system, limits the system resources required for the virtualisation technology.
A virtualisation server runs a regular operating system, on top of which a hypervisor is installed which allows the user to install numerous operating systems that run independently of each other.
The technology is most commonly used to consolidate several physical servers onto a single machine to increase overall system utilisation.
Illustrating the ease of use of XenSource's software, Levine claimed that he first used the software at a company party "after drinking two beers" and was ab le to install the code and set up several virtual machines within 15 minutes.
"We joked that one of the promotions that we were going to do was a CD and two cans of Guinness," he said.
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