March 5, 2001

freeVSD announces latest major version of GPL virtual server

Author: JT Smith

Anonymous Reader writes "freeVSD, the world's only GPL virtual server solution for Linux, is announcing the release of version 1.4.6 which now provides full support for Red Hat 7.0, and includes the latest true `thin client' administration interface for virtual servers, VSDClient.

freeVSD (, an open source project sponsored by Idaya Ltd, was released in its first version under GPL license in Spring 2000. The software enables ISPs to securely partition their physical servers into many `virtual servers', each capable of running popular hosting applications such as Apache, Sendmail and MySQL.

Each virtual server has a corresponding `admin' user with pseudo-root privileges, therefore proper `root' access is reserved for the service provider - providing a secure and manageable platform on which to host SME, corporate, reseller or developer clients.

freeVSD provides major benefits to any ISP:

· Lower cost for the customer, margins maintained for the ISP - because freeVSD is free, and because the solution helps reduce maintenance and support costs, ISPs can introduce affordable services for a wider market of small businesses yet maintain their earnings and margins.

· Low cost of entry - freeVSD is available for free download with complete source code from the project website (, and is fully compatible with standard x86 hardware.

· Lower support costs - freeVSD virtual servers can be administered by the customer, freeing the ISP's support team to deal with non-trivial support.

· Advanced functionality - freeVSD virtual servers are capable of running almost any Linux application, providing the look-and-feel of a dedicated Linux server or Virtual Machine.

· Unrivalled efficiency - a hard-linked architecture reduces disk overhead to just 20MB per virtual server, in comparison to around 500MB per equivalent Virtual Machine or dedicated server. Virtual servers operate in the most efficient manner possible, avoiding hardware emulation completely, therefore freeVSD can support hundreds of fully-featured virtual servers on a single physical server.

· Logical Security - freeVSD ensures maximum security between adjacent virtual servers thanks to its `sandbox' design. A unique `admin' user provides the customer with full control over virtual server configuration, whilst access to the most sensitive system files and binaries can be reserved for the ISP `root' user.

· Customer retention - freeVSD virtual servers provide a scalable stepping-stone between virtual hosting and dedicated servers, enabling ISPs to meet virtually any customer requirement with one basic building block, the virtual server. As a customer grows, so too the virtual server can grow all the way to a dedicated server - seamlessly.


freeVSD Administration
At the heart of freeVSD lies VSDADM a modular protocol that enables remote, thin client administration of virtual servers. In coming months the API will be made available to ISPs, enabling them to develop custom modules to meet any customer requirement.

The latest version of freeVSD includes the new webDNS module, which extends the VSDADM protocol to configure BIND nameservers. This new module enables virtual server administrators to configure DNS settings remotely, and completes the core functionality of VSDADM:

· User Profile Management (name, password, home dir, quota, privileges)
· Sendmail Configuration (, aliases and virtusertable management)
· Apache Configuration (VirtualHost management)
· BIND Configuration (management of domains, MX, CNAME, A records)
· Virtual server Management (create, delete, start, stop, reboot, quota, IP aliases)

VSDClient provides a secure, efficient method of remote administration for virtual server administrators. Fully compatible with the VSDADM protocol, this freeware application for win32 has been hailed as the next `killer app' for ISPs and their customers. This new approach to server administration enables service providers and users alike to break free from inefficient browser-based systems, and increase productivity by adopting a true `thin-client' interface.

VSDClient is a fully featured, co-brandable*** sysadmin tool for virtual server administrators, providing the ability to manage all core hosting services from the comfort of a Windows desktop:

· Manage multiple user accounts (POP3, FTP, telnet/SSH etc)
· Email `virtusertable' configuration
· Email `aliases' and autoresponder configuration**
· Apache Webserver configuration
· BIND Nameserver configuration
· Service status monitor (HTTP, SMTP, Telnet etc)
· `reboot' virtual server
· Fully secure - all communications encrypted using OpenSSL

The VSDClient open API** enables ISPs to develop custom modules to fulfil any user requirements. If desired, such custom modules can then be sold to other ISPs running freeVSD enabled servers through Idaya's forthcoming partner channel.

* Optional Extra
** Coming Soon
*** Under the Early Adopters Program, VSDClient is co-brandable free of charge to ISP's

About freeVSD
freeVSD is an opensource project sponsored by Idaya ltd (see below). Since launch, there have been in the region of 200 downloads of freeVSD each month from developers and ISPs across the USA, Latin America, Europe, Russia, Asia and Australasia. It is estimated that more than 25 ISPs are already using freeVSD commercially, whilst 150 ISPs are currently implementing or testing the software. Much positive feedback has already been received from almost 2000 software developers and ISPs.

About Idaya Ltd
Based in Brighton, UK, Idaya ltd develop cutting-edge software solutions for ISPs and web hosting companies worldwide. VSDClient is Idaya's first product to market, with several more related projects in the pipeline. Idaya ltd are primary commercial sponsors of the freeVSD project, and are actively seeking more partners and Early Adopters.

For further technical enquiries, please contact

For further press information, please contact:
Zoë Knipe or Paul Lindsell at Lindsell Marketing
Tel: 020 7434 2090
Fax: 020 7437 4130

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