KVM Lives On At Red Hat, So Now What?

Over a year after the first big Open Source Virtualization acquisition, Citrix Acquiring Xensource, the next industry shaking acquisition is a fact. Red Hat has reeled in Virtualization startup Qumranet, While RedHat had already announced that they were going to support both KVM and Xen in their product range , taking over Qumranet for some people sounds like a really strange thing to do , afterall apart from its work on KVM as the underlying opensource component of their product, Qumranet is a pretty proprietary software company.

Qumranet understood that the Bare Metal Low Layer virtualization layer was not going to bring them any money any day soon. There were going to be different Free and free alternative Virtualization layers out there anyhow so why keeping theirs secret rather than having it flourish as a community product and contribute back to the linux kernel community while at it.

On the other hand the products of Qumranet were closed, altough based on Linux their business was in selling a VDI solution to bigger customers. The question now becomes how this kind of product range will fit into RedHat’s tradidional Open Source offering. Red Hat has a long history of opensourcing everything they do. Obviously there is Redhat Linux, Jboss but also
the proprietary directory server they bought from Netscape which they opensourced . Sometimes it takes a while, like with their Satellite product, but they have a good track record here. So most parts of the SolidIce product line will be opensourced , but will they grow a community ?

Lots of people ask themselves if RedHat was interrested in the VDI infrastructure or did the just want to have the KVM Kernel developers on board. The fact is that they have a direct entry into managing Windows desktops , a market previously closed for themAnd that makes it an interresting move. As of now, managing a windows box is just managing a file on a Linux server, easy to copy, easy to replace.

With RedHat clearly preferring KVM over Xen in the future. What’s going to happen with Xen in the other distributions.
The 451 group reports that
“Novell insists Xen is its hypervisor of choice and it remains committed to the virtualization software and project.”,
but as we all know .. Novell will be working on other interoperability challenges too.

With Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux being a RedHat derivate the future of Virtualization in Unbreakable becomes an interresting topic.
Oracle clearly choose the Xen platform as their favourite virtualization technology earlier. And given the fact that it will be hosting the next
North American Xen summit , Oracle seems to plan on continuing to build their platform on Xen.

To close of there’s also the question of people at Qumranet, Qumranet was cofounded by serial virtualization enterpreneur Moshe Bar who previously had also cofouned Qlusters and Xensource What’s he going to do , will he stay around at RedHat or will he refocus to his other startup Sullego.

In a couple of weeks Xensource will celebrate it’s first anniversary at Citrix , let’s see what happens then …

About the author

Kris Buytaert is a long time Linux and Open Source Consultant active in Belgium , Europe and the rest of the universe. He is currently working for Inuits Kris is the Co-Author of Virtualization with Xen ,used to be the maintainer of the openMosix HOWTO and author of different technical publications. He is frequently speaking at, or organizing different international conferences He spends most of his time working on Linux Clustering (both High Availability, Scalability and HPC), Virtualisation and Large Infrastructure Management projects hence trying to build infrastructures that can survive the 10th floor test, better known today as the cloud while actively promoting the devops idea ! His blog titled "Everything is a Freaking DNS Problem" can be found at http://www.krisbuytaert.be/blog/

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