Plans to Merge
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.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.
"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.