New Virtual Platform: "Chris Stone, late vice-chairman of Novell responsible for its acquisition of SUSE and Ximian, has surfaced on the shiny new advisory board of Virtual Iron Software Inc.. [Virtual Iron] claims it can virtualize anything from a fraction of a processor to large-scale multiprocessors. .. The company was founded in 2003 under the name Katana Technology Inc by chief scientist Alex Vasilevsky, a grid pioneer and Thinking Machines veteran, along with CTO and head of business development Scott Davis, the former CTO of Mangosoft who in his youth was technical director of DEC's VAXCluster, VMS Volume Shadowing and DEC's NT clustering technology." Virtual Iron has raised $20m, has many luminaries on its advisory board.
The product calims to combine multiple servers into a single fabric. "Virtual Iron is betting that Linux will be the big growth driver in data center computing going forward and that many small servers will be racked up in these places like so many books in a library. VMware has spread its bet across the Windows and Linux worlds and believes that, increasingly, data center operators will use fewer machines with more processors in each. Either way, thanks to their advances, get ready to see microprocessors from Intel and AMD make tons of headway in the heavy-duty corporate computing scene. .. Virtual Iron's product, VFe (get it?), allows computing system managers to turn a host of Linux servers into a single virtual server, in real time shifting jobs from one server to another as computing demands dictate. The idea is that the system is much easier to manage this way, since all of the servers run on a single Linux operating system--rather than requiring each computer to run its own operating system. (Linux sellers Red Hat and Novell must be saying "Ouch!") Also, with a setup like this, there's less unused computing power sitting around idle." Commercial availability of VFe release 1.0 will be in Q2 of 2005. Initial support for x86 and SUSE and RedHat only.
Analyst opinions: "Pund-IT analyst Charles King said Xen is likely to be a greater threat to VMware than Virtual Iron, which he said sports an approach so different from VMware's that Virtual Iron will more likely compete with grid computing vendors like Platform Computing or United Devices. .. IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky said .. "On the edges, VMware and Virtual Iron will compete with each other. But VMware can't do what Virtual Iron does, which is spread resources among number of blades or boxes connected by InfiniBand. This is not to say VMware could not implement this, but it would probably take two to three years to implement." [Thanks for the lead, Scott!] 8:32:26 AM