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XenSource looks to invade Windows base

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Both XenSource and Microsoft trail x86 server virtualization leader VMware, which has been letting customers run multiple copies of both Linux and Windows on systems for years.

It may seem odd that Microsoft would afford XenSource a license to its Virtual Hard Disk format given the opening it provides for a customer defection. That said, Microsoft might prefer to see the lost souls head to XenSource instead of to bitter rival VMware, which has a tighter and more complete virtualization story at this time.

The whole XenEnterprise packages includes Xen 3.0, Xen and guest OS installers, a physical to virtual server tool and the management toolkit for keeping track of virtual machines and moving them around different servers. XenSource has 25 beta testers of the product at this time and plans to add more in the coming months.

A finished version of the product should ship in June or July. The company will release pricing at that time.

XenSource still has yet to announce a customer to the public, although it says folks are paying for its software.

The company still has intentions of building and selling more management packages around the XenEnterprise product and for the Linux crowd that receives Xen from Novell and Red Hat.

XenSource, however, is struggling a bit with this model. The XenOptimizer SE was meant to be the company's first for-profit product. But XenSource found that customers didn't want another, separate management package. So, XenSource is now trying to link its management tools into existing packages such as HP OpenView and CA Unicenter.

We've yet to receive a terribly clear picture of XenSource's management software aspirations other than the company assuring it has them.

Xen recently brought in a new CEO and let several staff go as it retools. ®

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