Virtualization is one of the latest IT buzzwords. The benefits of virtualization include quicker and easier server deployment, fewer physical servers, easier management of heterogeneous environments, and—ultimately—cost savings. I spoke to Danny Essner, Director of Marketing for Xandros, about how Xandros Server Standard Edition 2 meets the market need for server virtualization.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

            Xandros Server is a Linux server package that has been out since April 2006 and recently underwent revision, for a version 2 release last month. According to Danny, one of the product’s biggest benefits, “especially for Windows admins, is the inclusion of the Xen virtualization platform. We’ve incorporated virtualization into the management toolset for the Server to make creating and managing virtual machines really easy and seamless. Xandros’ implementation of virtualization is the first true mid-market product \[that lets\] companies take advantage of server virtualization.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

            The product is targeted at medium-sized Windows-centric businesses—companies that have mostly Windows servers but want to use Linux for certain applications or projects. Xandros Server lets these organizations add Linux to their Windows environment, without requiring a Linux/UNIX administrator, or really any Linux experience. According to Danny, Xandros Server is the only product that truly creates Windows/Linux coexistence. Other solutions are “rip out and replace” solutions, or they merely “create bridges rather than real integration.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

            Even though Xandros Server was released only a year ago, the company felt compelled to update the product because two of its core components recently underwent significant changes. Debian, the Linux distribution on which Xandros Server is based, recently jumped from version 3.1 to 4.0. Danny says that “the benefit to users of the new Debian is much better hardware support, especially with RAID controllers and storage devices.” In addition, Xandros Server uses a Linux alternative to Microsoft Exchange, called Scalix, which was recently updated from version 10 to 11. Xandros wanted to incorporate the email program’s improved end-user functionality into its product as well.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

            Xandros Server has a fixed price of $450, with no per-user licensing fees. A $60 per user licensing fee does apply to the Scalix email application. For more information about Xandros Server, go to Xandros' Web site.