Red Hat adds SPICE to your open source holiday

Red Hat adds SPICE to your open source holiday

Summary: While it's currently limited to working with KVM, someone could now write a version for Xen, and it could become a component in other folks' stuff.

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SPICE stands for Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment.

It's a desktop virtualization protocol you could compare with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) or Citrix' Independent Computing Architecture (ICA).

And thanks to Red Hat, it's not only a better acronym but open source as well.

SPICE came to Red Hat through Qumranet, which it quietly bought in 2008. Qumranet was best known for SolidICE, a kernel-based virtual machine built around KVM. It's tempting to call SPICE the protocol to be named later in that deal.

The question is, is SPICE any good? Brian Madden thinks so.

(Got a 50-plus virtualization expert on your Christmas list and don't know what to get them? How about one of these nifty Red Hat Spice quilted potholders, from AllAmish.com? Just $8 each. Call it a Red Hat SPICE trivet for their coffee cup and you're Super Santa!)

Madden says he tested it at his shop, at Qumranet's request, last year and liked what he saw. He wasn't in a bandwidth-constrained environment, your mileage may vary, but it looked good next to RDP and ICA, he reports.

It's architected a little differently from its competitors, but the question is what this move might mean competitively, other than selling more Red Hat virtualization contracts.

While it's currently limited to working with KVM, someone could now write a version for Xen, and it could become a component in other folks' stuff. Again, good for Red Hat.

But is there really room for another virtualization tool like this, even one that is open source? Only if virtualization is really going to take over the world, as its advocates have long predicted it would.

Of course, I'm old enough to remember when VRML was going to take over the world.

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

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