With its Corporate Server 4, Mandriva is challenging the Linux data center operating systems from Red Hat and Novell by offering broader support for virtualization technologies. It's a solid-sounding plan, but eWEEK Labs' tests of CS 4 show that it's longer on ambition than execution.
Mandriva's CS 4 is unique in its support for three different virtualization frameworks: Xen, OpenVZ and VMware. However, CS4 not only fails to advance the state of these frameworks on Linux, but, where Xen is concerned, CS4 falls short of the implementations now offered from Novell and Red Hat.
The Linux operating system offerings from Mandriva SA (the company formerly known as Mandrakesoft) have historically been recognized for their newbie-friendliness and their knack for giving users—primarily desktop users—access to software components not readily available from bigger firms. Indeed, the French company's initial raison d'être was to offer users a Red Hat Linux clone with the graphical K Desktop Environment that Red Hat, at the time, didn't distribute.
Component flexibility remains a key selling point for CS 4, which Mandriva began shipping in September. Sites with a satisfactory service and support relationship with Mandriva should take Linux CS4 for a spin, to see whether the upgrade is worth undertaking.
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