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IBM to support SLES 10, Xen

By   |  July 26, 2006

IBM has extended its portfolio of middleware and systems platforms to support Novell’s new Suse Linux Enterprise 10 offerings. Particularly exciting from IBM’s perspective is the Xen virtualisation.

“IBM will support Xen technology as part of the Virtualisation Engine portfolio on its Intel and Opteron processor-based server and blade systems,” says Bevan Lock, IBM South Africa’s technical evangelist. “Additionally, IBM has plans to support Suse Linux Enterprise 10 from Novell across its entire hardware and software portfolio and to provide services support.”

Lock says the new Suse Linux Enterprise offerings incorporate the open source Xen virtualisation software to help businesses increase server utilisation and lower management costs.

Xen is open source virtualisation software that allows multiple operating systems to run concurrently on the same physical server, enabling customers to consolidate their current workloads onto a single server. Recent tests by Novell show customers may have the ability to increase server utilisation by nearly 70%, as well as help increase the efficiency of managing and provisioning Linux systems.

Last week, Microsoft announced that it would support Xen virtualisation for its up-coming operating systems. Currently, the burgeoning virtualisation market is dominated by VMWare, which is known to be no friend of Microsoft’s. Microsoft’s decision is seen as partly a direct attack on VMWare, and partly a softening of its hard-line attitude to open source software.

“This combination of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 and Xen offers clients the most innovative open technology solution on the market today for running virtualised IT environments,” Lock says. “IBM is committed to Xen because we believe it is a powerful open source technology that will help accelerate a standard virtualisation technology platform to enable high levels of simplicity across diverse platforms.”

These announcements are the latest initiative in IBM’s continuing strategy to embrace virtualisation across its entire product portfolio. By 2007, IDC expects the virtualisation market to reach $18 billion.

IBM will support Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 with Xen on its x86 and blade server systems immediately.


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