Express Data has become the authorised Australia and New Zealand distributor for infrastructure virtualisation provider XenSource. Sales manager Paul Plester says it has been watching XenSource for some time and knows the product through relationships with Novell, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft. “They’re [Novell, Sun and Microsoft] strong vendors of Express Data and it seemed a logical thing to do,” he says. Xen enables several virtual server instances to run on a physical server at the same time, and aims to improve server utilisation and consolidation in enterprise datacentres. The first commercial software package is XenEnterprise. Distributors have already been signed in North America and Europe. Express Data’s deal is significant for local businesses, says Plester. “It’s important for the IT industry because we can have as many servers as an equivalent server overseas. The efficiencies that virtualisation of servers offers is significant.” Network Service Providers, which has already provided Xen-based solutions at 15-20 New Zealand sites, will now work with Express Data. “The biggest thing is we’ve been using it for a long time and we’ve got tested and proven solutions in real world environments,” says technical director Jonathan Prentice. NSP tests beta versions for XenSource and is in the process of testing the Windows release, which will allow Windows to be run on Linux.