VMwares new desktop virtualization program, VMware Workstation 6, arrived on May 9 with support for the companys open paravirt-ops, a virtualization performance optimizer, which as of the 2.6.20 kernel, is now part of Linux.
According to the company, paravirtualized Linux operating systems are modified operating systems specifically optimized to run in a virtual environment. Unlike current paravirtualization technologies, paravirt-ops enables transparent paravirtualization. This allows users to run the same Linux kernel in paravirtualized mode on a hypervisor as well as on native hardware. As a result, organizations have to support and maintain fewer Linux kernels, saving management costs and simplifying application development.
Some virtualization solutions, such as XenSources Xen, require a Xen-enabled Linux kernel to run, but can only run a native, non-Xen Linux kernel as a virtual machine. XenSource will eventually support paravirt-ops in Xen, but it hasnt done so yet.
Paravirt-ops is an open interface developed through a community process that included collaboration from the Linux community as well as commercial vendors IBM, Red Hat, VMware, and XenSource. Paravirt-ops in the Linux kernel also includes support for the VMware VMI (virtual machine interface), which provides a hypervisor-agnostic paravirtualization interface.
Dan Chu, VMwares vice president of emerging products and markets, said: "Interoperability and open interfaces are a major focus for VMware. VMware support for paravirtualization through the paravirt-ops interface demonstrates our commitment to working with open communities such as Linux and with other leading vendors to achieve open interoperability and optimizations for end users."