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By | Austin Modine 11th August 2008 23:45

Virtual Iron presses energy savings into fresh Xen-based code

(Fe)atures power management goodies

Virtual Iron is focusing on energy savings with the latest build of its self-titled virtual machine management software, Virtual Iron version 4.4.

The refresh slated for later this month will add LivePower, a new "experimental feature" that moves virtual machines across physical servers to optimize CPU usage.

When it detects excess chip capacity, LivePower consolidates VMs onto fewer physical machines and shuts down the unneeded metal. When necessary, the feature also powers physical servers back up and moves the VMs onto running boxes.

Such a feature certainly isn't new to the virtual machine management market. VMware, for instance, added Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) to its Infrastructure software back in 2006. But then, Virtual Iron's gig is offering almost everything VMware does at a price more palatable to the low-end market.

Another power-saving feature ready for future boxes is support for Intel's Dynamic Power Node Manager, planned to be baked into next-generation chips due out later this year. Virtual Iron 4.4 uses power consumption information from Node Manger to better determine how it will move workloads.

Virtual Iron 4.4 sells for $799 per server socket. Note: the management software only works with the company's own version of the open-source Xen hypervisor. ®

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