SWsoft rolls out Windows virtualization technology

SWsoft, which competes with VMware and Microsoft in the server virtualization market, Tuesday announced the general availability of its technology for Windows environments.

The company's software, called Virtuozzo, virtualizes the operating system so that multiple virtual private servers can run on a single physical server. Virtuozzo initially supported only Linux, although support for Windows has been available in beta and controlled releases for the past year.

As of Tuesday, Virtuozzo for Windows is generally available and can be downloaded for evaluation. The virtualization software is priced at US$1,000 per CPU and the accompanying management software is available at $1,000 per seat.

The general rollout of Virtuozzo for Windows comes less than two weeks after SWsoft announced its first outside investors. Those investors include Intel, which also signed a technology and marketing collaboration agreement with SWsoft to enhance its technology for future 32- and 64-bit Intel platforms.

Carla Safigan, senior product manager for Virtuozzo, claims that SWsoft's product already offers more advanced hardware support than rivals because of its link to the operating system.

"Since we build on top of the operating system we support any piece of hardware that's underneath that. We're able to support 16 CPU, full SMP support, 64 gigabits of RAM," she says. "We don't reinvent the technology, we build on top of it."

VMware ESX and GSX Server and Microsoft Virtual Server take a different approach than SWsoft by virtualizing at the hardware level and creating multiple virtual machines that include an operating system, application and data. The benefit in this approach is that multiple operating systems can reside on a single physical server.

Licensing issues, however, can become troublesome since users must license the OS for each virtual machine. With Virtuozzo, however, only one OS license is required to support multiple virtual private servers.

Safigan says end users can expect to see updates to Virtuozzo for Windows over the next few months, including additional operating system support, enhanced management capabilities and high availability clustering and replication features.

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