Novell announces its virtual machine presence


Anybody else getting that Xen feeling?

Today, Novell announced that it will be including support for an open source-based virtual machine technology known as Xen in the soon-to-be-released SuSE Professional Linux 9.3 (due in mid-April). By inserting a special layer of software between the hardware and the operating system known as a hypervisor, technologies like Xen allow a single physical system (desktop, notebook, or server) to give the appearance of being multiple physical systems -- or virtual machines. After a single physical system is carved up into multiple virtual ones (VMs), each VM can host an instance of an operating system that is completely separate and independent of the instances running in the other VMs. They can even get different Ethernet addresses so that, to other systems on a network, the VMs just look like separate computers.

To date, the most well-known of the virtual machine offerings in the market for PCs have been those of EMC subsidiary VMWare and, unlike in other segments of the industry, there haven't been any real open source-based threats to such proprietary offerings (although they have existed). VMWare -- whose virtualization offerings allow allow different operating systems such as Windows and Linux to run side-by-side on the same system -- has pretty much been enjoying free reign in the virtual machine business and has partnerships with most major x86 vendors, mostly for server offerings where such partitioning helps enteprises to consolidate servers and get better utilization of existing resources.[/b]
More info on XEN -