Virtualization Momentum Underscored at LinuxWorld

VMWare, which nearly single-handedly revived interest in technologies that provide a logical, rather than a physical view of computing resources, has plans to support paravirtualized Linux and Sun Microsystems’s Solaris x86 operating systems in future releases of its infrastructure platform products, Workstation, GSX Server and ESX Server.

Paravirtualization presents the abstraction of a virtual machine with a software interface that is similar to the underlying hardware. Paravirtualized Linux OS’s are specifically optimized to run in a virtual environment. This modification makes it possible to run both unmodified and paravirtualized operating systems—with or without assistance from underlying processor technologies—concurrently on the same virtualization platform.

VMware is adding support for paravirtualized Linux operating systems as they become adopted in commercial operating system distributions across its virtual infrastructure platform products.

Sun announced an alliance with VMWare at the LinuxWorld show. The two companies plan to deliver VMware’s full line of server virtualization capabilities on the Sun Fire x64 servers and the Sun StorEdge 6920 system. The two companies also signed an agreement to provide support for Solaris 10 as a guest OS on future VMware server and desktop products.

VMware also joined with a number of companies on an initiative to develop virtualization standards, including AMD, BEA Systems, BMC Software, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Computer Associates, Dell, Emulex, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Mellanox, Novell, QLogic, Red Hat and Virtual Iron Software.

LinuxWorld was something of a coming-out event for Virtual Iron, which just emerged from stealth mode with software that automates data center operations. The offering allows managers to set and implement policies, through which they can create new virtual machines, and pause, restart and shut down applications or servers.

Opsware unveiled a new shell technology at the show. The Opsware Global Shell enables the management of UNIX, Linux and Windows systems from a single universal shell. It is designed to allow concurrent operations to be done in parallel on hundreds or thousands of servers using standard scripts and languages.

Platform Computing introduced its Platform VM Orchestrator at the show. Designed to automate tasks across virtual machine environments, the Platform VMO allows dynamic balance and control of resources in real-time, auto-provisioning according to business policies, support of virtual machine containers from multiple vendors including VMware, and scalability.

VMWare also disclosed that it would be providing its partners with access to VMware ESX Server source code and interfaces under a new program called VMware Community Source.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].