Virtualization Technology News and Information
XenSource Raises the Bar on Enterprise-Class Virtualization with Industry’s Most Open, Scalable, High Performance Solution

XenSource, Inc., the leading provider of enterprise-class virtualization solutions based on the high-performance open source Xen virtualization platform, today announced the newest version of its flagship commercial product line, XenEnterprise v4.  This release marks a significant milestone in the company’s transition from a next-generation technology leader, to a provider of comprehensive enterprise-class virtualization solutions.  XenEnterprise v4 delivers a complete and simplified model for virtualization deployment and use, and the new enterprise-class capabilities will enable enterprises to take full advantage of the solution’s high performance, ease of use and advanced virtualization management capabilities.  XenEnterprise v4 packaging and pricing is specifically designed for easy, simple and cost-effective use on every server in the enterprise.   

New advanced management features in v4 include XenMotion™ for live migration of running virtual machines; XenCenter™, a scalable, resilient virtual infrastructure management solution with an easy to use Windows user interface; a powerful 64-bit hypervisor that supports both 32- and 64-bit enterprise workloads; and, an open, standards-based XenAPI which enables ISVs and OEMs to develop add-on solutions for XenEnterprise v4.  This release includes version 3.1 of the Xen open source hypervisor “engine” and leverages the latest hardware virtualization support features from Intel and AMD to deliver near bare metal performance. Benefiting from XenSource’s comprehensive 24x7 regression testing on hundreds of hosts worldwide, XenEnterprise is without doubt the highest performance and most robust virtualization platform available.  

“In order to realize the full potential of their virtual environments and the benefits of virtualization, enterprises increasingly need to optimize resources by moving guest VMs to new servers and be able to access and utilize better management capabilities,” said John Humphreys, program vice president of IDC's Enterprise Virtualization research.  “In XenEnterprise v4, XenSource has added these advanced capabilities, including mobility, monitoring, and storage integration to the core of its Xen-based product.” 

“We are familiar with the virtualization offerings available on the market today, and selected XenEnterprise because we found it to be a solid choice for our Windows environment,” said Robert Wicks, sr. AIM/Linux systems administrator with Rollins, Inc.  “XenSource is easy to use, and we were impressed by their solid product roadmap.” 

More than 650 commercial customers now use XenEnterprise for Windows and Linux virtualization, making it a proven, tested platform in the enterprise.  XenSource has seen tremendous growth in demand, and the XenSource commercial customer base has doubled in the past ninety days.  

New features in XenEnterprise v4 include:

  • XenMotion and Server Resource Pools: 
    • Combines multiple hosts into a powerful, scalable, and dynamically manageable pool of virtual resources and leverage XenMotion to enable live migration of running virtual machines between hosts to achieve resilient, optimal resource utilization for virtual infrastructure.  Automated host configuration means no per-host configuration in a resource pool, dramatically simplifying pool management.  Users can simply drop virtual machines on a resource pool and the pool assigns the right resources.
  • 64-bit Hypervisor for Real-World Applications
    • Scales XenEnterprise with increasing memory density and CPU core counts, with support for up to 128GB of physical memory, and with per guest VM limits of 32GB.  The new release also supports up to 8-way SMP per guest, and leverages ACPI to support dynamic hot-plugging of CPU, network and storage into running virtual machines.  The powerful hypervisor feature-set allows XenEnterprise v4 to support a higher density of virtual machines per host, with increased ROI and consolidation payback.
  • XenCenter:  Resilient, Integrated Virtual Infrastructure Management
    • Manages virtual infrastructure for the entire XenSource product family, offering the first enterprise virtualization management solution without a single point of failure. Management state is replicated across all hosts in a resource pool, enabling any host to assume the role of pool leader on demand, and dramatically enhancing resiliency and scalability of virtual infrastructure management.  XenCenter is included as part of the core XenEnterprise v4 offering at no additional charge.
  • Open Storage Repository API:   
    • Offers the industry’s broadest range of direct attached and shared storage for virtual machines including virtual disk images using NAS, iSCSI and SAN based storage infrastructure certified by XenSource through its OEM agreement with Symantec, whose Veritas Storage Foundation product suite will be included as an integrated component of a forthcoming point release of v4.
    • Delivers powerful snapshotting, cloning and thin provisioning for virtual hard disks, leveraging the integrated features of modern storage infrastructure, without requiring a proprietary cluster file system and backup technologies.  Via the open Storage Repository API, customers and partners can implement additional storage repository types, integrating storage virtualization and server virtualization into a powerful virtual infrastructure.
    • Supports file-backed virtual hard disks using the Microsoft VHD format, as well as block backed raw virtual disk images.
  • XenAPI: Open APIs and Development Kits for OEMs, ISVs, and Enterprises
    • Offers the same, XML-RPC standards based management API from XenExpress to XenEnterprise. XenSource v4 offers language bindings in C, C# and Java and a powerful CLI with bindings in three popular scripting languages to empower ISV, OEM and channel partners to create a broad-range of customer-needs driven value-added solutions – protecting management investment and fostering a rich open ecosystem of value-added products. 

Many of these enhancements can also be found in the new releases of XenServer and the freely available XenExpress.  For more information about the capabilities of each product, visit

“XenEnterprise v4 provides features that are excellent complements to HP ProLiant and BladeSystem technology,” said Scott Farrand, vice president and general manager, Industry-Standard Server Software, HP. “The enhanced feature set enables enterprise customers to more easily adopt virtualization technology while reducing operating costs and enhancing business continuity.”

“The new scalability and feature enhancements in XenEnterprise v4, together with Citrix Desktop Server™ enable a powerful solution for our joint customers, said Mick Hollison, vice president of  Desktop Delivery, Citrix Systems. “In particular the new fast-cloning and thin-provisioning capabilities in XenEnterprise v4 will help Desktop Server respond to the performance and scalability demands of delivering desktops from the datacenter as a secure, on-demand service.”

“With the exponential growth of data in virtualized environments, customers need to improve their data center efficiencies through increased utilization, high-availability, and simplified manageability,” said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Solutions Marketing at NetApp. “The combination of NetApp storage solutions with XenEnterprise v4 gives customers a consolidated end-to-end server and storage virtualization solution that allows them to address these pressing data management objectives.”

“The introduction of XenEnterprise v4 makes XenSource a strong choice for any enterprise looking to virtualize Windows from the data center to the desktop,” said John Bara, VP of marketing at XenSource.  “XenSource has experienced tremendous growth to its customer base and partner ecosystem in 2007.  We expect the introduction of the new enterprise-class features in v4 to further accelerate this growth.”

Availability and Pricing

XenEnterprise v4 will be available on August 20, and includes as standard features: XenMotion, XenCenter, a 64-bit hypervisor and XenAPI. Pricing for XenEnterprise starts at $1,599 for an annual subscription license per dual socket server, and $2,499 perpetual license per dual socket server.   XenSource’s midrange product, XenServer v4, includes as standard features: XenCenter, a 64-bit hypervisor and XenAPI. XenServer v4 does not include XenMotion, but the previous limits on guest VMs and memory will be removed.   Additionally, XenServer will now have the ability to manage both Linux and Windows guest VMs.  Pricing for XenServer starts at $495 for an annual subscription license per dual socket server, and $750 perpetual license per dual socket server. The ever-popular XenExpress continues as a freely available download from the XenSource site.  XenEnterprise and XenServer can be purchased from an authorized XenSource reseller.  For more information, visit: or contact

As announced last month, planned future enhancements to XenEnterprise v4 include the development of XenEnterprise HA, embedding Symantec's Veritas Storage Foundation and certifying with Symantec Veritas NetBackup to create a unified storage and server virtualization platform which offers industry-leading availability and backup capabilities.  These additional enhancements are scheduled to be released in an upcoming version later this year.

Published Monday, August 13, 2007 5:33 AM by David Marshall
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