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22 February, 2006 - 11:49 By News Desk

XenSource targets Cambridge

XenSource Inc, the virtualisation company that spun-out from the labs of the University of Cambridge to the fringes of Silicon Valley in the US, is making a dramatic return to the heart of its R & D set-up to establish a world-leading centre of excellence.

Open source infrastructure virtualisation is being touted as a potential multi-billion dollar market and XenSource is looking to force the pace of the take-up of its own offering with an aggressive expansion drive that will also see the firm move into new premises at Cambridge’s Castle Park.

The company is one of a handful of companies leading efforts to provide industry with enterprise standard virtualisation infrastructure solutions which could revolutionise the way companies are organised and produce major TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) savings.

The Xen technology allows operating systems to be run on the same computing platform simultaneously. Benefits to large corporations with mission-critical computing cannot be underestimated and it could mean the end of downtime while a network is being maintained and even lessen the amount of damage that a virus can do.

The expansion coincides with the appointment of Peter Levine as XenSource chief executive. Levine brings over 20 years experience in the software industry and most significantly played a key role in the development of VERITAS Software Corporation from nought to more than $1.5 bn in revenue and from 20 staff to more than 6,000 worldwide.

Levine said: "There is a lot of expertise in Cambridge and we want to expand it as a centre of excellence. We will hire as aggressively as possible and the new building will help us expand capability here."

XenSource currently has around 30 staff in the US and 15 in the UK, mainly based in University departments.

Levine expects that number to double at the new 5,500 sq ft Cambridge site, though the onus is not on numbers, more on the quality of people, said Levine.

XenSource’s solutions are based on what it believes to be the industry’s highest-performance virtualisation technology, the open source Xen hypervisor.

XenSource products allow enterprises to realise the TCO savings that result from server consolidation, increased utilisation and reduced complexity in the data centre.

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