Novell offers virtual machine driver pack

A few days ago, Novell announced that the first service pack (SP1) for SUSE® Linux Enterprise 10 was available to its customers. Here's a pointer to their Website.

A few days ago, Novell announced that the first service pack (SP1) for SUSE® Linux Enterprise 10 was available to its customers. Here's a pointer to their Website.

What's new? Novell mentions enhancements in virtualization, high-performance computing, security, interoperability and system management. What caught my eye while reading through the announcement was that Novell was making the SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack available. The SUSE Linux Enterprise Virtual Machine Driver Pack is described as "a bundle of paravirtualized network, bus and block device drivers that enable unmodified Windows* and Linux* guest operating systems to run with near native performance in virtual environments created with the Xen* hypervisor technology integrated in SUSE Linux Enterprise and Intel* Virtualization Technology and AMD* Virtualization hardware."

Whoa big fella! Is this really something new?

Didn't XenSource announce the same thing a while back and make it available as part of XenSource's XenSource Enterprise? Here's a pointer to the announcement of XenEnterprise 3.2. Here's a snippet from the XenSource Website that highlights one of my many sources of confusion:

<Snip> Key Product Features:

  • Enterprise Ready Performance
  • Installs on bare metal x86 hardware for peak performance
  • Minimal software footprint dedicated to running virtual machines
  • Built to fully leverage Intel® and AMD virtualization technology for near native speed
  • XenSource Tools provide high speed I/O for enhanced disk and network performance
  • Multi-processor guest support delivers scalable performance to server workloads
  • Simple Deployment and Installation

Quick and easy installation

  • Rapid deployment with simple CD and network based installers
  • Leverages standard Linux device drivers for the broadest hardware support of any bare metal virtualization platform
  • Supports wide variety of local storage including IDE, SATA, SCSI, SAS and more
  • Supports Fiber Channel based SANs with boot from SAN for diskless blades
  • Supports iSCSI based SANs

<end snip>

<Bolding is mine>

I'm sure that you'll notice that XenSource points out that they're offering drivers for enhanced disk and network performance, multi-processor guests, etc.

Is this a case of competition between Novell and  the community that provided the technology Novell is using in SUSE Linux Enterprise 10? Does Novell have an agreement with XenSource and didn't bother to mention the (Xen)Source of these drivers?

If Novell developed these drivers, we need to see when and if Novell will contribute these drivers to the Linux and Xen community efforts. If this is a competition between Novell and XenSource? If so, does the community lose? What's your opinion?

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