Keeping Up with Linux

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-05-17 Print this article Print

"No one remembers a delay a couple of years down the line the way they do if it has quality problems. Today, less than 5 percent of servers are virtualized and there is a tremendous opportunity still sitting out there in the market," he said.

"There are a number of hypervisors out there and there are some things that work in ways we agree with and there are other things that work in ways that we dont. For example, there is one company that builds a pretty fat hypervisor that has a bunch of driver model stuff in there. We think that doesnt really belong in a low-level piece and we think that the hypervisor should be out of the way as much as possible."
Microsofts Laing also noted that the company has a strong virtualization product already in the market: Windows Virtual Server 2005. Microsoft knows from telemetry generated from the beta program how many people were running their beta in virtual versus physical environments.
Read more here about why Microsoft cut core features from Viridian. "We can tell which hypervisor they are running on and to be honest, I see zero on Linux. We see VMware rather than Xen because its not really out there in production versions of Red Hat and SUSE. But the long-term issue around virtualization will be who had the best management tools," he said. McDonald said that in the end, it all comes down to building products with the right level of technology. "I dont want to have a discussion with a customer where we have a problem with a low-level quality product. It hurts you and always comes back to bite you. I am the least apologetic person about product delays as there are, at least 90 percent of the time, for good reasons," he said. Asked if Windows was lagging behind Linux on the virtualization front, McDonald said: "I cant think of a time when anybody in production with a lot of virtualization has said to me that Linux is better than Windows in this regard." Jim Fister, the lead technology strategist at Intel, agreed, telling eWEEK that he had a lot of discussions around virtualization and had also not heard anyone claim that Windows was inferior. Click here to read more about how the SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform has gone virtual. When asked what the biggest areas of concern were for him, McDonald said that the model had changed, and a lot of the functionality was now moving into the cloud, and that how Microsoft works in that environment will be very important. There is also a decentralization trend in a lot of ways, and how Microsoft responds to that trend and does the right things for its customers in that area is also important, McDonald said. Another key issue is how Microsoft will enable "people to be able to manage many servers as one. They are the big things we have to achieve and solving those things is much more important than worrying about someone with whatever percentage of share," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

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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