I'm currently using User-Mode Linux as a general purpose server, hosted by Bytemark. I have also used UML experimentally. I am interested in using virtualisation technology to support student project work, so that students can learn by having root access to a machine which can be setup and destroyed on the fly, without this interfering with other uses of the physical host. User-mode Linux is currently easier to set up for this kind of purpose, but Xen promises much better performance, particularly when new silicon proposed by Intel and AMD becomes available, with specific support for virtualisation. Running a set of servers, e.g. apache, sendmail, mysql in different VMs offers better sandboxing, as a security failure in one VM should be less likely to result in knock-on security breaches elsewhere, as would occur in a conventional host running multiple software servers.
So I think Xen is likely to become a very significant development, for a number of reasons, and the sooner it has mainstream kernel support, the easier it will be for potential users to get started with it.
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