Qumranet builds proprietary desktop on open source kernel

Qumranet builds proprietary desktop on open source kernel

Summary: At Demo07 Qumranet announced Solid ICE, a proprietary desktop virtualization system built on the kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) built into Linux 2.6.20.

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Qumranet logoAt Demo07 Qumranet announced Solid ICE, a proprietary desktop virtualization system built on the kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) built into Linux 2.6.20.

Qumranet also announced a Simple Protocol for Integrated Computing Environments (SPICE), a connection protocol for linking devices within a virtualized environment. External interfaces to the system will eventually be released as open source, but the Qumranet solution itself will stay closed.

CEO Benny Schneider, whose background includes co-founding P-Cube and acting as CEO of PentaCom through its 2000 acquisition by Cisco, also claimed credit for KVM.

"We originated out of the kernel-based virtual machine hypervisor. KVM has been out over a year, and it’s now a global development effort supported by engineers around the world. KVM was synonomous with us to this point."

Schneider called virtualization a "paradigm shift" that can dramatically cut the $4-5,000 per year companies now spend supporting individual desktops. Qumranet has not yet announced pricing.

"We’ve done some analysis and find that on average the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) savings can be up to 50% compared to existing practices.

"We’re delivering a central, hosted appraoch to desktop virtualization, so when an IT administrator uses their corporate image, they can deliver the entire client computing environment. We’re not virtualizing a single application."

Qumranet is an example of how proprietary software can be built off an open source base, and the attraction of this new model to proprietary vendors.

"As KVM becomes ubiquitous it becomes part of many commercial solutions. This is the first. We have had over 40 engineers working on this for two years. This marketplace is moving  fast. We’re aware of VMWare’s Jeos, but we have more than an adequate head start."

Having a proprietary team advance open source for commercial advantage may sound like foul play to GPL backers, but it's at the heart of the open source ideal. Schneider admits that his market lead is less than if he built off a completely proprietary base, but the lead is real.

Topics: Storage, CXO, Hardware, Open Source, Virtualization

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