Novell's hypervisor product will be available later in 2008 and is based on the Xen hypervisor found in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.
Novell is quietly working on a stand-alone hypervisor product that will be
based on the Xen hypervisor found in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.
Novell executives demonstrated the product, which is currently under
development, at its recent BrainShare conference in Salt
Lake City, said Roger Levy, senior vice president and
general manager for the Open Platform Solutions business unit at Novell.
"This product will be available later this year and is based on the Xen
hypervisor found in SLES 10, which has been slimmed down, and things like the
visibility of the boot sequence have been changed," Levy said,
acknowledging that it would be a similar product to Microsoft's stand-alone
version of Hyper-V.
Microsoft said last November that it would release Hyper-V Server,
a stand-alone hypervisor-based server
virtualization product that complements the Hyper-V technology in Windows
Server 2008 and allows customers to virtualize workloads onto a single physical
server. It is expected to retail for $28.
Virtualization allows the hardware and software life cycles to be decoupled,
which is something Novell's customers and partners were asking for, Kurt
Garloff, Novell's vice president of product management, told eWEEK in a recent
"So you will see us deliver the Xen hypervisor along with a scaled-down
version of Linux that includes the hardware drivers and some of the management
pieces. This will be bundled separately and have a separate life cycle. There
will also be an application platform, known as the virtual distribution, which
will host the application," Garloff said.
Virtualization and operating system embedded at the same time
Novell Chief Technology Officer Jeff Jaffe hinted at a stand-alone hypervisor product
during his keynote
address at the BrainShare conference in March, saying one of Novell's goals was
to make SLES 11 available as an appliance that would be supported by a new tool
set designed to quickly build specialized images.
Novell was also planning to deliver optimized versions of SUSE Linux
Enterprise for specific ISV stacks, as well
as a new embedded version to allow independent hardware vendors to embed
virtualization and operating systems directly into the hardware, he said at
Novell's vision for the hypervisor includes the physical distribution, known
as the p-distro, which is built on open Linux and includes other open-source
technologies like Xen, Jaffe told eWEEK in a recent interview.
"There are some who say that a hypervisor should have no trappings of
Linux," Jaffe said. "We are not quite of that opinion. In our view,
if you can build it and leverage the Linux investment then, in terms of the
Linux infrastructure-all the device drivers and tuning and certifications that
you have done for running applications on Linux-you want to inherit that
running the applications on your p-distro or your virtualization