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Will Microsoft's Hyper-V eventually drive ESX to go open source?

I think open sourcing might be too much to ask (not that it won't happen eventually), what will certainly happen is that ESX will be shipped free on the hardware that you'll buy. I envisioned several versions of ESX sometime back, I think back in 2006 already and divided them into several categories, this is however the revised product development, segregation and segmentation strategy:

  • Buying mobile devices?: Product: ESXembed comes free with your PDA, phone, blackberry etc. Using it to run several applications simultaneously with it. Benefits of such containarization of tasks are endless.
  • Buying Laptops?: Product: ESXlite comes free with it. Benefit: Run Mac, Windows, Linux at near-native speeds, side by side. I have been desperately waiting for this.
  • Buying Servers: Product: ESXEnterprise etc: All coming free with your boxes. Well they already thought it out and called it 3i
  • Buying Cloud Ready Data Center sets?: Product: ESXGrid Version comes free with the grid of commodity boxes. Do the google yourself now!
  • Buying HPC for your home innovations? Things like developing alternative fuels, doing all the things that we all have been desperately waiting for, will finally come from the community. Product: ESXtreme
They all will come free and the revenue model will move onto services.

Anyways we were talking about Hyper-V tests by this tester:

Even though Hyper-V is still pre-1.0 code, I think Microsoft has done a bang-up job with its hypervisor, and it may just turn this Linux freak into a Windows 2008 junkie for running his own personal virtualization needs. While VMWare’s ESX is still superior on a number of fronts, including its aforementioned VMotion technology and its more powerful cluster management tools, Microsoft has certainly sent a major warning shot across its bow and the bows of the respective Linux vendors, as well.

If I were VMWare, I’d seriously look into open sourcing my hypervisor, engaging the community to get it entrenched into every environment possible – not just the Fortune 100 who have thousands of dollars per server to blow on a virtualization solution — and focusing my efforts on support and value-add. Hyper-V represents the first stage of the mass-commodization of hypervisor technology, and if this beta release is any indication, it’s going to be a rough ride ahead for Microsoft’s competitors. In fact, Hyper-V may be Server 2008’s “killer app” that the analysts have been looking for all this time.

ZDnet does not usually cover relevant news but this time they still ended up doing the same ;-). I quoted them on what I think is more important to VMware's future, erroneous reporting really doesn't matter as we all know that ZDnet can never state facts or check them before publishing.


  1. The ZDnet Article is full of many factual errors.

    It claims that VMware ESX does not support SATA...wrong. 3.5 does.

    It claims that VMware is a closed system thus slowing development....wrong. Are you kidding? VMware is constantly raising the bar and setting the standard for new features in the virtualization space. Example: First to deliver virtual SMP, live migration, dynamic load balancing, automatic VM restart after host failures, thin hypervisors....I could go on and on. Also a perfect example of innovation by the community is the Infiniband support in 3.5. It was developed by members of the VMware Community Source Program.

    The article claims that VMware's ESX server HCL is small while MS and Xen do not have that problem....WRONG. MS Hyper-V and Xen have HCL's ( and In fact, the MS and Xen HCL's are much more limited than the VMware HCL. Hyper-V has only been test on 8 servers. Citrix has only tested Xen on 45 servers. In contrast, VMware has over 400 servers on the ESX Server 3.0.2 HCL

    The article claims that ESX REQUIRES expensive shared storage....WRONG. ESX provides 4 options for storage: Fiber Channel, iSCSI, NFS and local.

    The article claimes that ESX is a "pure software based virtualization"...WRONG. For the bulk of x86 CPU instructions, ESX does direct execution on the physical CPU. VMware has used binary translation primarily because the current generation of hardware assists provided by AMD and Intel are actually SLOWER. VMware is working closley with AMD and Intel to ensure their next generation CPU's provide better hardware-assist.

    Of course the ZDNET author admits many of these facts in the comments section, but has yet to issue a correction.

    I thought you would appreciate the note.


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