Virtual Iron announced version 4.2 of its server virtualization platform today, adding new features that inch the offering closer to feature parity with market leader VMware ESX Server and that represent firsts for a Xen-based platform. The features include the following:
- multipathing for Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks;
- LiveSnapshot, a space-efficient way to create snapshots and clones of running virtual machines for hot virtual machine backup; and
- storage capacity management features that allow virtual disks to be managed (increased, decreased, added) without downtime.
The new version also adds support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10. It also includes support for “unmodified” native versions only, shunning the early “paravirtualization” mantra of the Xen community. “Our philosophy has always been around supporting unmodified OSes,” said Mike Grandinetti, Virtual Iron chief marketing officer. “Are you really willing to break the certification of your entire stack for a 1% performance improvement? It would have to be [a] pretty mission-critical [application].”
Virtual Iron also announced that its Virtual Server tools are now packaged as an ISO image, appearing to the administrator as a virtual CD-ROM, for simple deployment. The firm also announced that its platform had been certified for use with storage systems from Network Appliance, which is currently in use at Virtual Iron customer Meganet Communications.