The BMW Group is using Xen virtualisation software from Novell in its data centre to reduce hardware costs and simplify deployment through the implementation of virtualised workloads.

The announcement this week the car manufacturer is going to deploy virtualised data centre solutions using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 with the open source Xen hypervisor on x86 servers using dual-core processors with Intel Virtualisation Technology has followed testing by BMW IT Research Centre staff in North America and Germany.

According to BMW, Xen virtualization technology built into SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 will allow the company to increase flexibility in managing server life cycles. BMW is also looking for operational and cost advantages in other areas, in addition to having a flatter support structure through the integrated operating system and virtualisation layer.

The use of the virtualisation technology also enables hardware resources to be more efficiently used through server consolidation, giving BMW the ability to cluster virtual servers and migrate them live from one physical server to another as needed. The company is also currently evaluating Novell ZENworks Orchestrator as a way to manage the resulting virtual data centre systems.