Connectix unveils server product to aid consolidation

Hoping to cash in on what it sees as growing corporate interest in server consolidation, Connectix Corp. on Tuesday delivered an early version of a Windows-based server application that allows users to run several popular operating systems and environments on one server.

Based on the company's desktop virtualization technology, the Connectix Virtual Server enables a single server to operate Linux, Unix, OS/2, Macintosh OS, and Windows concurrently on the same server. The new product is intended to significantly lower hardware server costs across an enterprise, company officials contend.

"What we think is significant is the operational and management savings you gain because you can take a lot of functions that used to be in the hardware and allow them to be managed remotely. By doing so you also eliminate a lot of points of failure in a system," said David Atlas, vice president of enterprise products, in San Mateo, Calif.

Some analysts believe virtualization products such as Connectix can not only reduce hardware costs but also contribute toward better unifying applications and data across multiple operating environments.

"Virtualization technology has emerged as one of the most promising approaches to server consolidation," said Vernon Turner, group vice president of global enterprise server solutions at IDC. "By creating independent, portable, isolated computing environments, virtualization technology boosts server efficiency and security, improves allocation of available IT resources and increases control over end-user service levels," he said.

As part of Tuesday's announcement, Connectix said that some of its business partners -- including BladeLogic, LeoStream, and ProTier -- will offer server management applications that take advantage of the new server product. These upcoming products and solutions will be woven into the core virtualization features of the Connectix Virtual Server, spokesmen for the companies said.

"A critical technology to support server consolidation is virtualization software," said Vance Loiselle, vice president of product management for BladeLogic. "After testing Virtual Server, we think our customers can benefit greatly by automating the entire server consolidation process of analyzing configurations, migrating servers, and managing heterogeneous platforms in a unified way," he said.

Connectix has been selling its Virtual PC client series for more than 10 years, and is currently deployed on over 1 million desktops, according to company officials.

The current beta release is available through selected Connectix partners and some Global 2000 IT organizations. The finished release is not expected until close to the end of the year, a company spokesman said.

For more information about the product, users can go to www.connectix.com/virtualserver.

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