Connectix pries lid off virtual server

Connectix, which thus far has staked a claim in the virtual PC realm, on Tuesday will introduce its first entrant into the virtual server domain.

Connectix Virtual Server runs on Windows servers and enables customers to run multiple operating systems on one machine, including Windows, Linux, Unix, OS/2, and DOS, according to company officials.

The virtualization software lets users consolidate servers, thereby reducing hardware and operating costs while maximizing the use of server resources.

"We're seeing customers get a return on disinvestment. We help customers get the [value] out of what they have," said David Atlas, vice president of enterprise products, at Connectix, based in San Mateo, Calif.

In addition to lowering TCO, Atlas explained that Virtual Server lets customers more easily migrate legacy applications onto updated hardware and reduces application development life cycle time.

A company with an older application that runs on Windows NT 4.0, for instance, could load NT as the guest operating system onto a new server and bring the legacy application as well.

In moving from the PC virtualization into the server area, Connectix faces some challenges, according to Al Gillen, an analyst at IDC, based in Framingham, Mass. Most notably, Connectix is starting out behind its chief competitor, VMware.

"Connectix is number 2 in the market. VMware has a one-year lead on them. It's not impossible for them to overcome that, but they will have to deal with that," Gillen said.

Furthermore, VMware Inc. has a licensing deal with IBM Corp. in place. Connectix, however, is in talks with IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Computer Corp., and Fujitsu Ltd. The company currently is working with NEC to run its software on a fault-tolerant system, according to Atlas.

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