Intel, HP and other leading technology companies have teamed up with the intention of stopping VMware's hypervisor from ruling the cloud.
The Open Virtualisation Alliance, announced on Tuesday, hopes to make the open-source Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor the fundamental layer on which the cloud is virtualised.
"No matter what virtualisation solution is chosen by our customers, the Intel strategy remains the same — to help ensure their choice runs best on Intel architecture," Doug Fisher, vice president for Intel's software and services group, said in a statement."KVM offers an open-source alternative for virtualisation that takes immediate advantage of the Linux device driver work Intel does, which helps KVM track the rapid improvements we make in our products."
The alliance, which also includes BMC Software, Eucalyptus Systems, IBM, Red Hat and SUSE, will collectively encourage interoperability, focus on building further third-party products that can sit on top of KVM, and advertise customer successes.
Already IBM and Red Hat have teamed up to build further products around KVM. They plan to jointly develop virtualisation and cloud management interface APIs .
In a small straw poll at the Red Hat Summit in May, attendees gave a tepid impression of KVM's place in the enterprise.
Out of the five people ZDNet UK spoke to, none used KVM. One person said they would not for the foreseeable future, as they made great use of VMware's various hypervisor-contingent management suites, such as vCloud Director. Another said KVM was "interesting" and he was "looking into it" but said it simply did not have the services ecosystem to match VMware.
However Red Hat's chief technology officer, Brian Stevens, told ZDNet UK that he believes KVM should become dominant eventually. He said its open-source design means it will pick up a broad developer base and benefit from the march of Linux.