Virtual Iron Looks Ahead With Version 4.0 of its Server Virtualization Solution

Today, Virtual Iron announced the latest release of its server virtualization platform and virtual management solution. The company hopes that Version 4 of its software will continue to chip away at VMware's lead in the market with Virtual Infrastructure 3. Virtual Iron said that Version 4 provides comparable capabilities to VI3 and is still available at just a fraction of the cost. Version 4 offers the followin

Today, Virtual Iron announced the latest release of its server virtualization platform and virtual management solution.

The company hopes that Version 4 of its software will continue to chip away at VMware's lead in the market with Virtual Infrastructure 3. Virtual Iron said that Version 4 provides comparable capabilities to VI3 and is still available at just a fraction of the cost.

Version 4 offers the following new capabilities and features:

  • Integrated SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Kernel and Drivers - Version 4 integrates the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 kernel and Linux drivers in Virtual Iron's core virtualization architecture. As a result, users get all the benefits of complete Novell certification and corresponding full global commercial support for their entire spectrum of server, storage and networking hardware supported by Novell in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. This includes systems from IBM, HP, Dell, EMC, Network Appliances, Cisco and many others. Virtual Iron joins VMware as the only server virtualization providers to integrate fully supported kernels and drivers with its hypervisor - a critical requirement for users moving virtualization into production environments.

  • LiveConvert - P2V and V2V Conversion Capabilities Powered by PlateSpin - Version 4 adds LiveConvert, an automated software solution powered by PlateSpin that enables customers to easily migrate workloads (data, applications, and operating systems) across physical, virtual, blade and image-based infrastructures in any direction. LiveConvert provides Virtual Iron users with the ability to quickly migrate workloads between physical servers and virtual machines allowing users to quickly achieve the benefits of large-scale server consolidation, rapid provisioning, high availability and capacity management.

  • New Graphical Management Console Interface – Version 4 adds a powerful new Windows graphical administration console including new management wizards for creating new virtual machines and managing their entire lifecycle. The console also includes new graphing and reporting tools for measuring resource utilization and performance including CPU, memory, disk and network I/O. These capabilities simplify management of the entire virtual environment.

  • New Xen 3.1 64 Bit Hypervisor – Virtual Iron continues to contribute to and leverage the latest advancements in the Xen open source project. Version 4 integrates the Xen 3.1 hypervisor for increased scalability, increased memory density, support for up to 128 GB of physical memory, and per guest virtual machine limits of 32 GB. The new hypervisor also supports up to 8-way SMP per guest and leverages ACPI to support dynamic hot plugging of CPU, network and storage running into virtual machines. As a result, users can support a larger number of virtual machines per host, increasing utilization and ROI.

  • Expanded OS Support - Virtual Iron Version 4 adds support for several new 32 and 64 bit operating systems including Windows Vista, Windows 2000 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3. This enables Virtual Iron to continue to expand mainstream adoption, provide support for diverse data center environments and increase user flexibility and value.

  • Windows SMP Support - Version 4 expands support to virtual machines with up to 8 CPUs, for the ability to virtualize more demanding workloads such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server.

These new features add to Virtual Iron's already comprehensive server virtualization and virtual infrastructure platform including advanced policy-based automation capabilities which allow data center managers to monitor and automatically manage the capacity of their server resources to deliver on established service level agreements (SLAs). These include easy-to-use capabilities such as:

  • LiveMigrate - the ability to move virtual servers between physical servers without any application downtime;
  • LiveCapacity - monitors virtual server CPU utilization to determine when a workload needs additional capacity and live migrates it to a physical server when needed;
  • LiveRecovery - monitors the status of physical resources and moves virtual servers to maintain uptime in the event of a hardware failure;
  • LiveMaintenance - moves virtual servers to alternate locations without downtime when a physical server is taken offline for maintenance. This allows physical server maintenance to be performed outside of scheduled maintenance windows without downtime.
  • LiveProvisioning – a "zero touch" automated deployment capability that eliminates the need for physical installation or management of virtualization software on virtualized physical servers.

"Virtual Iron Version 4 continues to keep pace with the industry's most-advanced offerings and is substantially more feature-rich, higher performing and easier to deploy than XenSource's latest offering," said John C. Thibault, president and CEO of Virtual Iron. "With Version 4, we continue to bring the most comprehensive enterprise-class virtualization and management capabilities to the mainstream market at a fraction of the cost of comparable alternatives."

Like their previous offering, Virtual Iron offers a free license to customers using its software on a single four-socket server with up to 12 virtual machines.

Once hooked, customers can move up to the Enterprise Edition at $499 per socket which adds the ability to create an unlimited number of virtual machines, and offers local, iSCSI and fibre channel storage support, access to the Novell kernel and drivers, Virtual SMP and VLAN support.

And for $799 per socket, users can upgrade to the Extended Enterprise Edition which gives customers everything in the Enterprise Edition plus capacity management and disaster recovery tools as well as image conversion tools thanks to PlateSpin.

The company said Version 4 should be generally available on September 10, 2007.

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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