The new software will make it possible for companies to slice up their Microsoft Windows OS and run a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Unix and IBM's OS/2, said Connectix vice-president of enterprise products David Atlas.
"This helps customers deal with the problem of how they take server images, roll them out and patch them," Atlas said. "It really tickles users because it empowers them, and generally makes their lives a lot easier."
Connectix has been in the partitioning business for some time, most notably with its Virtual PC product that lets users run a Windows on Apple computers. With its server product, however, Connectix could help cash-strapped businesses looking for ways to cut down on the number of servers in their network.
By running multiple operating systems on one server, companies can rein in the number of applications they have spread across their hardware. One server could, for example, run an e-mail application on the host Windows OS, while also running a Web server on a Linux partition.
Users can make quick copies of their OS images and move them from server to server, cutting back on software development time. A company can shift test environments around from server to server and run their software on different operating systems to see how it performs, Atlas said.
Connectix has already started shipping Virtual Server to some customers and plans to make the software publicly available by the start of 2003. It will be priced at $1,000 (£648) per processor on Intel-based servers.