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Virtualization: Scandal ahead?

A couple of mentions around VMware and XenSource's activities to get into the market and reach out to the consumer (you all know, I am putting it rather lightly) is making a lot of waves on the internet.

Most of them are open source developers. And they are angry, very angry!

There is a site maintaining VMware's house of cards and this techtarget blog talks about one such aggravated scenario.

So what’s been alleged?

To put it simply, there have been claims that VMware’s ESX server is, in fact, a derived work of the Linux kernel. As such and being closed source, it is not legally redistributable. There have been several examples of accusations being made in public forums and on mailing lists to which VMware have refused to respond.
Hellwig also responded on an open-scsi issue, which he maintains.

On the other hand, REdHat's developer is totally upset about the Xen going away with the XenSource. Redhat has stopped using the word Xen with it's Virtualization option. Oracle, Novell and the rest are all stuck with the Xen modules.

Drepper writes:

I hope everybody realizes the insanity of this:

  • If they really mean single application this must also mean single-process. If not, you'll have to implement an OS which can provide multi-process services. But this means that you either have no support to create processes or you rely on an mini-OS which is a front for the hypervisor. In VMWare's case this is some proprietary mini-OS and I imagine Xensource would like to do the very same.
  • Imagine that you have such application domains. All nicely separated because replicated. The result is a maintainance nightmare. What if a component which is needed in all application domains has to be updated? In a traditional system you update the one instance per machine/domain. With application domains you have to update every single one and not forget one.
And worst of all:
  • Don't people realize that this is the KVM model just implemented much poorer and more proprietary? If you invite drivers and all the infrastructure into the hypervisor it is not small enough anymore to have a complete code review. I.e., you end up with a full OS which is too large for that. Why not use one which already works: Linux.

Questions about the Deathly Hallows

  • Will KVM come to their rescue?
  • Won't KVM too quit on them?
  • Is open source really open source?
  • Will open source ever be taken seriously?
  • Will Virtualization suffer at the hands of developers?
  • Will Xen developers walk away, just like the famous Mambo case where they successfully launched Joomla!
  • Will VMware developers/engineers, as an analysts noted, sell their stock options and go to Hawaii?
  • This is what Ballmer meant when he called open source "cancer"?
  • Will Linus Torvalds take the Linux community and get it registered as Linux Inc.?
  • Will Unix go after Linux Inc. for stealing and modifying it's code?
  • Will Linux and Unix battle and both die?
  • Will...ok that's enough!!!

Someone out there is really heating up the pan and throwing drops of water in the oil. Someone jealous?

Anyways bottom line is: We are into a very hyper-disruptive era. When scandals will die down, when firms would have responded, kissed, and made up, we'd still be virtualizing. So take a break now and go watch some movies.


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