Plans to Merge

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-07-31 Print this article Print

The initial plan was to merge the Xen patches into the Linux kernel, which would then have only run on Xen, but there has been a move away from that toward an interface in the kernel that would let it work with any virtualization hypervisor technology. Xen, VMware and Microsoft are all working on hypervisor technologies. While Brian Byun, the vice president of products and alliances for VMware, acknowledged that the Palo Alto, Calif.-headquartered company had been approached by a neutral third party about offline mediation to establish how best to make this happen, he said he was unaware of any previous request for the company to meet directly with XenSource on this.
"We are very supportive of the mediation request, but we have not, as yet, had a request from Oracle – with whom we work closely--to mediate in this regard. We would love nothing more than a standard, multi-party approach to achieving this for the Linux kernel as soon as possible. We want something to be established quickly so we can move forward from there," Byun said.
In fact, Byun recently wrote on his blog about Linux hypervisor interoperability and standards, which was also a response to the news that Microsoft and XenSource had agreed to work together on an interoperability solution. Click here to read more about why Microsoft and XenSource joined forces to aid server virtualization. In that blog post, Byun said that VMware hopes there will soon be a standard Linux interface for para-virtualization, which would simplify and standardize how Linux is supported on various hypervisors, including VMware and Xen. "VMware is actively working with the Linux kernel community to develop an open interface so that the Linux kernel can run natively and efficiently on a choice of hypervisors. Such an interface would also be available to any operating system," he said. VMware has made its initial proposal for such an interface available to the Linux community and is pursuing Linux and hypervisor interoperability, not as a commercial arrangement, but within the open, transparent and merit-based multi-vendor approach, he said. While Byun stressed the fact that VMware has been working closely with the Linux kernel community with regard to the proposed Linux virtualization interface in his July 31 interview with eWEEK, he did acknowledge that its proposal is different to that which XenSource has implemented. VMware Server 1.0: Why wouldnt you use it? Click here to read more. "We have told the kernel community exactly what our proposal is and what the characteristics we believe a solution has to have for the Linux maintainers and customers, for instance avoiding strict coupling between the kernel and the hypervisor because that is more maintainable for customers and the Linux distributions," he said. Next Page: Discussions.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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