On September 5th, XenSource announced an embeddable version of their open source hypervisor. Here's a pointer to XenSource's press release. I posted something on that announcement in XenSource Announces XenExpress™ OEM Edition. At that time, I could see many ways that this technology would make it easier for both suppliers and organizations to set up and re-purpose systems. It would also mean that it would be possible to develop extensive diagnostic tools that couldn't harm operating systems, applications or data already installed on those systems. VMware must have been thinking along the same lines because they announced their own entry on September 10th. Here's a pointer to VMware's press release.
I've spoken to a number of smaller companies (in stealth mode) that plan to offer their own embeddable virtual machine technology. What's going on here? Why are all of these organizations trying to position themselves as offering the hypervisor to embedded in systems and servers?
Why embedded virtual machines?
If you remember the last time you or your organization had to build a new application environment up from the bare hardware, you will remember that it took both time and expertise. Wouldn't it be nice if an installation, a complete system backup or restore amounted to a simple file copy?
The race begins
Now the race to get hardware suppliers to sign up to use this technology is on. I expect we'll see announcement after announcement that one supplier or another has "won over" system suppliers around the world. The vendor that becomes pervasive has a huge opportunity to sell add-on management tools, upgraded hypervisor technology and the like.
All of the vendors mentioned are rushing to get their position of market dominance in place before the mighty Microsoft releases their newest release of Virtual Server and starts including it at little or no charge with their operating systems just as they did other hot technologies in the past.
A more complete analysis can be found in the XenSource post referenced at the top of this post.
Would your organization purchase a server that included this technology over one that did not? If so, why? If not, why?