Red Hat hypervisor tools to run on Windows only

The open-source company's desktop and server hypervisor management tools will initially be available only for Microsoft Windows-based systems
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Open-source company Red Hat will initially offer its hypervisor management tools for Windows systems only.

Paul Cormier, Red Hat's president of products and technologies, told ZDNet UK at a press conference on Wednesday last week that the hypervisor management software for desktops and servers, which is due out before the end of the year, will be available only for systems running Microsoft's proprietary operating system.

Cormier said he had spent a long time reaching the decision.

"I agonised over this as I thought I would have engineers at my door with pitchforks," said Cormier on Wednesday, who added that the decision was based on customer feedback and demand. "The management tools will run on Windows out of the gate."

On Wednesday the company launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4. This update bundled in Red Hat's kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) hypervisor, which allows multiple virtual operating systems to run on a host machine or system.

Red Hat has not said exactly when the tools will be available, saying only that customers will be able to get hold of them before the end of the year. The management software will be part of the first wave of products released within the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation strategy.

Mark Taylor, chief executive of UK open-source firm Sirius Corporation, which offers Red Hat support to businesses, said on Monday that the Red Hat decision was "weird, but understandable".

"[The decision] is understandable because in the real market the majority of desktops are running on Windows — it has a huge install base," said Taylor. "It's weird as the company normally takes the GPL [GNU Public License] approach. The decision is pragmatic, but it does seem a retrograde step in dealing with interoperability."

Red Hat has traditionally championed interoperability, and on Wednesday last week it criticised Microsoft, saying the company is attempting to lock customers into its Azure cloud-computing offering.

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