Disappointment over virtualization techs mounts. This time, Oracle takes its shots

Disappointment over virtualization techs mounts. This time, Oracle takes its shots

Summary: Barely a day has passed since Red Hat went public with its nasty-gram that XenSource's Xen virtualization technology isn't ready enough for primetime (or, at least for Red Hat's Enterprise Linux) and now, Oracle is bitchin' and complainin' too.

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TOPICS: Virtualization
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Barely a day has passed since Red Hat went public with its nasty-gram that XenSource's Xen virtualization technology isn't ready enough for primetime (or, at least for Red Hat's Enterprise Linux) and now, Oracle is bitchin' and complainin' too.  According to eWeek's Peter Galli:

Oracle is fast losing its patience with both XenSource and VMware over their reluctance to work together to help develop a single interface that will integrate a variety of virtualization solutions in the Linux kernel...."We certainly believe in one simple universal way to integrate a variety of virtualization solutions, and that is the way that Andrew Morton [the maintainer of the stable Linux kernel] wants to go," said Bob Shimp, the vice president of Oracle's technology business unit, on July 31...."I can say that Oracle is losing its patience over this issue and we are going to be pushing harder and harder on everybody to come to the table with a realistic solution," he said, noting that it is in everyone's interest to get a solution thrashed out that benefits the open-source community as a whole.

Earlier this year, things in the virtualization market heated up when Microsoft decided it was going to start giving away its virtualization technologies.  In response, VMware decided to release its hypervisor technology (known as VMDK) to the market for free, without a license requirement (not exactly open source, but perhaps the next best thing).  But XenSource was already in the market with an open source hypervisor that, notwithstanding it's enterprise readiness, has been getting a lot of support from a lot of vendors like Intel and AMD.  In some ways, it was too bad that VMware hadn't thought of the giveaway strategy a long time ago.  There might be one hypervisor in the market (instead of 4 or 5) and Oracle's Shimp might not be all in a huff. 

Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess.

Topic: Virtualization

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  • VDMK is not hypervisor technology

    "In response, VMware decided to release its Hypervisor technology (known as VMDK) to the market for free"

    VMDK is just a VM storage format, not Hypervisor technology. Microsoft also permits license free usage of its storage format.

    Examples of Hypervisor technology are:
    * VMware Hypervisor (full emulation only for now)
    * Xen
    * Virtual Iron (they've dropped this in favor of Xen)
    * Microsoft's upcoming Windows Hypervisor
    georgeou
  • Maybe it's all just a stupid idea

    Server virtualization exists because humans cannot figure out how to utilize multiple CPUs. Is it REALLY more efficient to run 4 VMs on a 4 CPU box - or one "real" server utilizing 4 CPUs? The extra overhead from the VMs would mean that you would get less "real" work out of the VMs. Add in the costs of the VM software and the VM experts to maintain it and you have a very questionable strategy.
    Roger Ramjet
    • There are reasons for not using only one machine.

      The situation is not always as simple as you suggest it is. Perhaps the machines could be running different OS's? Perhaps the need for this virtual machine is temporary so it wouldn't be correct to install and then later uninstall the software for this temporary task. Perhaps there is need for isolating tasks that run on this virtual machine from the other tasks that could run on the same machine.

      Perhaps the organization's business model does not fit in well with your mainframe point of view. If mainframes worked for everybody then we would all still be using mainframes, wouldn't we?
      balsover
    • Missing the point

      Machines are becoming more and more powerfull. Multi core machines will be standard very shortly with single cores fading rapidly (end of year maybe). So buying one machine and using only a portion of its capacity is a waste. By using a virtual server you can :
      - dedicate resources to a virtual machine
      - multiple virtual machines that need minimal resources can run on a single host until they outgrow the capacities of that host (great for allowing each department to have a dedicated machine without the expense of buying physical machines)
      - If a virtual machine begins needing more resouces it can be changed to add more cpu's or more memory or just copied to a larger machine
      - in OS's where it is difficult to run multiple types of environments (Windows) using VM's allows each machine to run a single environment.
      - Really the bottom line is providing an abstraction layer between the hardware and the OS which makes it easier to move the OS to different hardware within minutes sometimes based on the need of the application.

      It's actually a pretty good strategy brought on by the increasing power of even low-end CPU's. By the way I don't think its a case at all of not knowing how to use multiple CPU's - its a case of isolating processing and providing a flexible structure to manage dozens maybe hundreds or thousands of machines without the nedd to buy all that hardware. You may be thinking of desktops - really the benefit here is for servers.

      G
      georgef
  • VMware for Free

    VMware released VMware Server for free long before Microsoft. In addition they released their community source program where partners can get source code access to all of VMware (including the hypervisor) so they can develop deeper integrations with the software. A little more research next time before copying and pasting snippets from other columnists a day after the story.
    maddogvm