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Clearing up confusion about virtualization and Xen

Just what is virtualization anyway, and where does Xen fit into the picture? This IT pro wants one simple answer, but our expert has to tell the truth, which isn't simple.

I keep hearing about virtualization, but it seems like the word is used to describe a lot of different things. Is there one strict definition of virtualization? What type of virtualization product is Xen?

It's easy to get confused about virtualization. The term means different things to different people. WhatIs.com gives several different definitions of virtualization. I've provided links to those definitions below.

Xen is an open source virtual machine monitor that uses a technology called virtualization to let multiple operating systems run on the same computer. Xen version 3 will be released soon, and Novell and Red Hat plan to bundle it with their Linux distributions.

Here are some links to virtualization articles and sites:

Here are some links to Xen articles and sites:

This was first published in December 2005

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