Virtualization does not guarantee the future for open source

There are many ways for virtualization to reach the market, Crosby added. It can come in software, it can come in hardware, it can be retrofitted. It also challenges our ideas on how software is priced. But it doesn't change software pricing.

I spent some quality time today with Simon Crosby, CTO and co-founder of XenSource Inc., who said virtualization is the Next Big Thing, that it makes all the benefits of Moore's Law real, that it has benefits for all classes of users. (Picture from XenSource.)

But does it help open source? While Xensource is an open source company, and has a range of products for enterprises, server owners and individuals, virtualization moves the control point of computing to the virtualizer, and Xen does not necessarily win.

Microsoft has a virtualizer, the Virtual Hard Drive or VHD. With virtualization, applications bring their environment with them, and Microsoft-based software dominates the application space.

"The value is from orchestrating the virtual machines and then delivering value-added applications on top of them," Crosby said. XenSource will support both the Microsoft VHD and the VMWare virtualization technology.

There are many ways for virtualization to reach the market, Crosby added. It can come in software, it can come in hardware, it can be retrofitted. It also challenges our ideas on how software is priced. But it doesn't change software pricing.

The game will change, in other words, but the game will go on. And there is no way to tell, based solely on this technology trend, who the winners and losers will be.

 

 

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