SWsoft's open source division OpenVZ has announced a set of new features for its eponymous OS virtualisation software.

It can now deliver check-pointing and live migration support for IA64 processors. Said by the company to be unique, this allows system administrators to move virtual servers between physical servers without end-user disruption or added storage.

It works by freezing a running virtual machine (OpenVZ calls them ‘virtual environments’ or VEs), storing the image on disk and restoring it on another server. The function executes between any two servers on a network. OpenVZ said there are no additional requirements, such as a storage area network (SAN).

IA64 support is added to previously available OpenVZ support for servers using x86 and x86_64 processors.

In addition, network file system (NFS) support, enables access to other NFS file systems, which are mainly used in Linux and Unix environments, from within OpenVZ virtual environments. VLAN (IEEE802.1q) is supported in virtual environments, so that every network packet can be tagged to a particular virtual network.

Filesystem in userspace (FUSE) is now supported, which allows, for example, for an FTP or SSH server to be presented as a file system within a VE.

I/O accounting for each VE solves the problem of distributing I/O throughput, which can be a performance bottleneck, across all virtual environments, said OpenVZ. The scheduling feature allows users to set priorities so that, for example, some VEs can be set as high priority for disk access, and others as low priority. OpenVZ said this would be followed soon by a new per-VE I/O scheduling feature.

"We intend to continue bringing our users more advanced technology throughout the year," said project manager Kir Kolyshkin. "We're off and running in 2007 delivering users with new features in OpenVZ software."

OpenVZ is Linux-based open source software that's used as the basis for SWsoft's Virtuozzo virtualization software product.

The new OpenVZ kernel software can be downloaded here, and the wiki is here.