Open source woven into latest, hottest trends

We may not see or hear much about open source in the latest cloud or Big Data offerings, but it’s playing a significant role in the most disruptive trends in enterprise IT.

Just as we’ve seen with open source in cloud computing, it is an integral part of trends that currently are disrupting consumer and enterprise IT markets, including hybrid cloud computing, automation and devops, and Big Data.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

Canonical, Ubuntu broadening cloud coverage

Whether it’s been our discussion of unpaid, community Linux, the changing Linux landscape or cloud operating systems, we’ve always seen Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux as a major factor in the emerging cloud computing software market.

Canonical was the first Linux provider to so aggressively and prominently target cloud computing by its support and incorporation of the open source Eucalyptus cloud framework more than two years ago.

More recently, Canonical signaled a move with its next version of Ubuntu Server 11.10 will support a different cloud stack, the open source OpenStack software, as its default cloud platform. Eucalyptus will still be included in the Ubuntu distribution and will remain an option, which is key as we see the desire for multiple technologies and choices emerging as increasingly important to customers (the same thing seems to be happening with open source hypervisors Xen and KVM).

Given our coverage of the significance of open source in cloud computing and the importance of openness to customers moving into cloud computing, it is critical for vendors such as Canonical and technologies such as Ubuntu to be flexible in the other technologies and players with which they integrate.

That’s why it was even more impressive to see Canonical strike a deal with VMware. The two announced recently that Ubuntu 11.10 will also feature integration of and support for VMware’s Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS). This is yet another indicator of increased competition between VMware and Red Hat, which has its own version of PaaS in OpenShift. Regardless of the impact to its fellow Linux provider Red Hat, Canonical’s support for CloudFoundry is wise and positions Ubuntu as among the most flexible Linux distributions for cloud computing.

Canonical still faces significant challenges, primarily the monetization of developer, pilot and unpaid Ubuntu use and also its lack of pre-installation on server hardware from major OEMs. Nevertheless, the company manages to set itself apart from all other Linux providers in its continued focus on mobile and converged devices, as well. HP’s abandonment of the space and the idea of synergy between back end servers and mobile devices running the same OS is not much of a validation. However, it could also be an opportunity for Canonical, which is not burdened by the hardware business that became so painful for HP.

451 CAOS Links 2011.06.14

Apache OpenOffice.org proposal approved. SkySQL Tekes new funding. And more.

# The proposal for OpenOffice.org to become an Apache incubator project was unanimously approved.

# Rob Weir discussed how the relationship between OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice need not be a zero-sum game.

# Simon Phipps offered his thoughts on the potential positive and negative outcomes.

# Tekes, the main public funding agency for research, development, and innovation in Finland, awarded SkySQL a grant of €250,000 and a loan of over €600,000.

# Opscode announced the general availability of Opscode Hosted Chef, formerly the Opscode Platform, and launched the Private Chef appliance.

# Infobright launched version 4.0 of its open source analytic database.

# Glyn Moody questioned whether we still need the FSF, GNU and the GPL.

# Cenatic published its analysis of the criteria for adopting open source software in public administrations.

# Nuxeo and Hippo announced a technology alliance through which they have built an ECM/WCM connector based on the OASIS CMIS standard.

# The VAR Guy wondered whether Canonical’s Ubuntu focus is too diverse.

# Sandro Groganz discussed what US-based open source vendors need to know about Europe.

# The Xen code for Dom0 has been accepted into the Linux mainline kernel.

# Brian Proffitt covered the two faces of UK open source.

# The VAR Guy encouraged Adobe to engage more with open source.

# Matt Asay pondered Red Hat’s potential to challenge Oracle with a database of its own.

Hypervisor fight good for customers, good for FOSS

There have been many changes in the market and technology since Citrix acquired XenSource and a major stewardship stake in the Xen open source hypervisor four years ago. Red Hat’s 2008 Qumranet acquisition and subsequent push behind the Linux-integrated Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor has added to the disruption. One thing, though, remains the same: the intense competition among these open source hypervisors in the enterprise market.

Read the entire article at LinuxInsider.

451 CAOS Links 2010.05.21

VMware partners with Google. 20 bidders for Novell. IBM and Pentaho support Hadoop. And more.

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“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# VMware partnered with Google on cloud computing, including support for Spring Java apps on Google App Engine.

# The WSJ reported that Novell has received up to 20 acquisition bids, and is set to start considering its options.

# Matt Asay explained why going private could be good for Novell.

# IBM unveiled a portfolio of products and services based on Apache Hadoop.

# Pentaho announced plans for its BI and data integration software to support Apache Hadoop.

# Jedox reportedly raised $2.1m in new funding from existing investors.

# Google open sourced VP8 as part of the WebM Project.

# The Free Software Foundation welcomed Google’s WebM format.

# NTT and EnterpriseDB developed Postgres-XC (eXtensible Cluster) technology for PostgreSQL.

# Gluster named Ben Golub President and CEO.

# OSS got a mention in the UK government’s programme for transparency.

# Novell announced SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 1.

# SUSE Linux Enterprise 11.1 included DRBD from LinBit for data replication and HA.

# WANdisco promised to reinvest its profits from Subversion support back into the Subversion project.

# An open source version of Magelia WebStore, e-commerce software for Windows, will be released in September.

# Gianugo Rabellino stepped down as CEO of Sourcesense.

# ComputerWeekly reported on how BMW virtualised with SuSE Linux and Xen.

451 CAOS Links 2010.04.30

HP acquire Palm. Microsoft and HTC sign patent deal. And more.

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“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# HP agreed to acquire Palm for $1.2bn.

# Microsoft and HTC signed a patent agreement for HTC’s mobile phones running Android.

# Simon Crosby shared his thoughts on Red Hat’s abandonment of Xen.

# NetworkWorld considered what impact Symantec’s purchase of PGP Corp will have on the PGP project.

# Rod Johnson explained the role SpringSource technology plays in VMforce.

# LWN published an article on the barriers to London’s open source adoption.

# Oracle is reportedly limiting support for Lustre 2.0 to those using Oracle hardware.

# Stephen O’Grady provided his thoughts on Cassandra and The Enterprise Tension.

# SCO Group asked the judge to overrule jury in Unix ownership case. They’re persistent, I’ll give them that.

# Day Software released version 2.1 of CRX, based on the Apache Jackrabbit, Felix and Sling projects.

# Open-Xchange simplified pricing for its SaaS e-mail and collaboration software.

# OTRS released OTRS::ITSM 2.0, the latest rev of its IT service management software.

# Microsoft released the source code of the .NET Framework Client Libraries for OData under the Apache 2.0 license.

# PrismTech released version 5.1 of its OpenSplice DDS data distribution software.

# enStratus announced support for private cloud infrastructures based on Eucalyptus.

As the hypervisor turns, Red Hat leaves Xen

With its recent beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat is taking its most pronounced step away from the Xen hypervisor in favor of KVM, which it sees as a step forward for performance, flexibility and support, particularly for virtualization and cloud computing.

It is interesting to watch how Red Hat and Linux rival Novell are moving forward regarding hypervisors. Back a few years ago when Xen, and the hypervisor for that matter, were relatively new to the scene, particularly if it wasn’t VMware’s hypervisor, there was far different positioning from the big Linux vendors Novell and Red Hat. Novell was eagerly incorporating Xen into its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server software, ready to take advantage of the move to virtualization to consolidate servers and support, which was particularly popular with Linux. Contrast this to Red Hat, which was still holding off on actually incorporating Xen into its Red Hat Enterprise Linux, in large part based on RHEL’s key verticals and customers such as financial services and telecommunications companies that were more committed to stability than to jump into Xen. We also saw a little bit of this story repeating itself on real-time Linux a couple of years ago.

Now contrast this to today’s situation, where Red Hat is eagerly and rapidly moving its support, resources and customers to KVM, which it sees as advantageous all around with performance, manageability and other benefits of being integrated into the Linux kernel and being newer. Novell, meanwhile, isn’t being quite as reluctant on a move to KVM, since it benefits from the same integration on SLES (Novell contributes to the Linux kernel and KVM and also supports KVM for customers in a service pack to SLES 11). However, Novell is likely in no hurry to see Red Hat’s $107m Qumranet acquisition and KVM support pay off, and it is likely more than content to continue to support and work with Xen and the many customers using it.

So while Red Hat can rightfully claim the lead on KVM development and pushing it into the market, Novell may benefit from spreading its support more evenly among the various hypervisor and virtualization management technologies that continue to get customer and cloud use, including KVM and Xen and VMware. Regardless of where these and other vendors are placing their hypervisor, virtualization and cloud computing bets, it is certainly intersting drama to watch.

451 CAOS Links 2010.04.23

The White House contributes to OSS. Growth for Pentaho and MuleSoft. And more.

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“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# The White House released some of the custom code it has developed for whitehouse.gov as open source.

# Pentaho reported 229% bookings growth and 177% Enterprise Edition customer growth in Q2.

# MuleSoft grew bookings by 140% in Q1.

# The beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is now available, without Xen.

# OpenCandy raised $5m in series B funding, led by Google Ventures.

# Canonical released the source code to the Canonical Identity Provider.

# Monty Widenius’s keynote text from MySQL Conference 2010.

# Port25 published an interview with Brian Gentile – CEO of Jaspersoft.

# Zenoss and Puppet Labs partnered to deliver integrated IT monitoring and automation.

# IBM is delivering a range of software appliances powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

# INSIDE Contactless released its Open NFC protocol stack API and source code.

# DotNetNuke launched version 5.4 of the DotNetNuke Professional and Elite Editions.

# SIG.eu published a report on software industry savings resulting from use of OSS.

# James Dixon has a dream, and that dream is the Free/Open Source Software Global Maturity Matrix.

# Aras updated its open source Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software.

# Zenoss announced community-developed OSS cloud monitoring and virtualization management software extensions.

# Korean Internet company NHN became a licensee of the OIN.

Cloud openness contemplated

I caught some of the keynotes and discussion at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit today, and was particularly interested in the panel discussion on open source and cloud computing. While we are used to hearing and talking about how important open source software is to cloud computing (open source giving to cloud computing), moderator John Mark Walker posed the question of whether cloud computing gives back? The discussion also rightfully focused on openness in cloud computing, how open source might or might not translate to cloud openness and the importance of data to be open as well.

The discussion also centered on some issues regarding open standards and how open is open enough for cloud computing? It may depend on who you ask, but I tend to think that the flexibility, interoperability and portability advantages of open source software will dictate its continued use and true openness in the cloud.

However, this is not always the case. When we consider openness in the mobile market, we see that while open source software is going into more and more smartphones and mobile devices, by the time it gets into the product and into the hands of consumers, it ends up closed. This is not necessarily a violation of open source license, either in rule or in spirit, but rather the use, incorporation and reliance on open source alongside proprietary products, strategies and companies, typically under a permissive license. Much of it also has to do with the need, both perceived and real, for control of code in these devices among hardware, software, wireless carrier and other players with a stake.

Another interesting perspective of what open source means, or doesn’t mean, in terms of cloud computing, standards and interoperability comes from the Xen community’s Simon Crosby of Citrix.

One of the most interesting things to watch when considering whether cloud computing gives back to open source is the AGPLv3 license, which is viewed in different ways as both a burden and a boon to network-based, distributed development by various parties. We continue to see vendors, such as mobile software player Funambol, as strong supporters of AGPL while others, such as Google, continue their resistence to it.

The AGPL also came up in the Linux Foundation Collaboration summit panel again, and while I don’t think the license currently serves as the answer to whether cloud computing gives back to open source, we do see some benefits to open source from cloud computing, both in terms of code, projects and communities and the commercial vendors leveraging open source software. In terms of code, large users of open source software projects, such Linux, MySQL, Hadoop, Cassandra, help to raise the profile and credibility of open source. Whether corporations or university campuses, these large users can also be among the most active community participants — driving features and shaking out bugs, and most prolific code contributors — creating features and extensions and enlarging the ecosystem. In terms of commercial open source vendors, cloud computing can also mitigate the challenges of balancing and differentiating free, community versions and separate, paid versions. If the vendor is able to offer support, services or even extensions with the cloud version of its software, it is easily separated from a free, community version that may be available for free, but not from the cloud.

Of course, there is more that cloud computing can do for open source and there is much more that has to be done to ensure true openness in cloud computing, particularly when some existing and emerging defacto standards are anything but open, but for all that open source is to cloud computing, cloud computing seems to be returning the favor to some degree already.

451 CAOS Links 2010.04.13

600 new customers for SugarCRM. James Gosling leaves Oracle. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# SugarCRM added nearly 600 customers in the first quarter of 2010.

# James Gosling resigned from Oracle.

# VMware’s SpringSource acquired Rabbit Technologies and its RabbitMQ messaging software.

# EnterpriseDB hired Sun’s former MySQL VP Karen Tegan Padir as vice president of products and marketing.

# Xen.org released version 4.0 of the Xen open source hypervisor.

# Talend 4.0 includes data integration, data quality and master data management in a single offering.

# rPath offered improved Linux patching capabilities, targets Red Hat Network Satellite users.

# SugarCRM has made the primary source code repository for Sugar Community Edition publicly accessible at SugarForge.

# Gear6’s memcached distribution supports native query and Redis integration, and is now available on Ubuntu and Debian.

# Percona announced Percona Server with XtraDB as a drop-in replacement for MySQL.

# Mezeo Software and Zmanda partnered on a new cloud storage backup offering.

# The Apache Software Foundation announced Apache Cassandra release 0.6.

# Fonality and SugarCRM partnered to provide contact center offering.

# Black Duck reported bookings up 80%, 31 new customers in the first quarter.

# Ulteo joined the Open Invention Network.

# The Linux Foundation announced the expansion of companies participating in the MeeGo project.

# Black Duck Software released a code search plug-in for Visual Studio 2010.

# Twitter released the source code to FlockDB, its distributed graph database technology.

# Hippo CEO Jeroen Verberg’s shared his thoughts on open source-related business strategies.

# EditShare announced plans to release Lightworks media editing software as open source.

# Marten Mickos’s presentation at Parc Forum – Open for business: Building successful commerce around open source.

VMware on open source track to cloud

I have to admit, I was somewhat skeptical of VMware’s interest and outlook with regard to open source software when the enterprise vendor acquired SpringSource in August 2009. Basically, I thought VMware was more focused on cloud strategy and SpringSource’s subscription business in application development and deployment than on its open source nature. However, after its second open source acquisition of Zimbra messaging and collaboration from Yahoo! and talking further with VMware, it is clear the company — once widely known as the proprietary virtualization option juxtaposed against Xen open source virtualization — is an open source believer.

Of course, much of this occurs as Linux and open source dive further under the covers, winning placement but not notoriety in a range of consumer and enterprise uses. Nevertheless, VMware makes no secret its belief that open source software represents the fastest way to reach the widest audience, whether it’s developers in the case of SpringSource, or service providers and other cloud computing users with Zimbra. Similar to our findings for a recent report about customer and user views on open source, VMware sees primarily cost and complexity mitigation benefits from open source software. The company also cites open source as the reason Zimbra has managed growth and popularity, even in the face of Microsoft’s popularity via Exchange and SharePoint.

This is not to say VMware will be making only open source acquisitions and deals going forward as it builds its vCloud stack and story. In fact, in this regard, VMware is in a more flexible position than Red Hat, which is practically more obligated to stick to open source targets or acquire with the intent to open, as we’ve seen with some of its acquired Qumranet technology.

VMware calls the Zimbra acquisition its move ‘up the stack,’ and while additional pieces will not necessarily be open source, I expect the same cost, complexity, flexibility, developer, speed, strategic and other factors that drove the SringSource and Zimbra acquisitions will continue VMware’s focus on open source.

Updated 1/20/2010: VMware has already taken further open source steps with this announcement of vCloud SDKs supporting open source languages.

Save MySQL would not spare open source M&A

A recent pitch from the folks opposing Oracle’s ownership of MySQL via acquisition of Sun Microsystems got me thinking. The plea, ‘Oracle can have Sun, but not MySQL’ may make sense to some, but to me it speaks to the irony of closing out Oracle or any company or anyone from open source. Upon further reflection and given 2010 is off to a roaring pace of M&A, I also began to wonder what the impact of the ‘Save MySQL’ campaign could be on open source in M&A, particularly if it was to successfully derail the acquisition or somehow decouple MySQL from Sun under Oracle?

What would it mean to carve out the open source projects, components, teams and support from companies involved in mergers and acquisitions over the last few years?

Would Citrix have still bought XenSource if Xen were cut out or somehow separated in any way shape or form from the deal? Would it have paid $500m?

Would Nokia have bought Trolltech and Qt for $153m?

More recently, would VMware have purchsed SpringSource for $420m if some or any of SpringSource’s open source projects, developers or holdings — including its own acquisitions Covalent and Hyperic — were not included?

Oh yeah, would we even be here with MySQL owned by Sun Microsystems if Sun were prevented from fully acquiring the project, code and company despite spending $1 billion two years ago?

Some degree of concern about Oracle’s potential ownership of MySQL or any ownership of open source projects and code is certainly warrented and prudent, but I don’t believe the fear that punctuates the message of the ‘Save MySQL’ campaign makes much sense. This is particularly so in light of the past deals listed here and others where the market has required continued investment and support of open source and provided continued revenue and benefits from open source.

While some of these scenarios may be admittedly implausible, I believe that separating out open source components, parts, projects and subsidiaries from vendors could certainly serve to dull the shine of open source software assets and vendors amid M&A valuations, prospects and strategy.

Oracle buys Sun, but does it buy open source?

The big news to kick off this week was Oracle’s announced acquisition of Sun Microsystems. There is already a lot of discussion of the integration challenges, how Oracle is getting into hardware (or as Matt Asay describes it, having an ‘iPod moment’) and of course, the implications for open source software. What stands out to me is the fact that the world’s biggest proprietary database player — one of few software giants that still sells and supports primarily proprietary software — will own the world’s most popular open source database, MySQL. It is unclear how significantly MySQL figures into the deal, but given Sun spent $1b acquiring it and further invested in its enterprise readiness and use, it must mean something. What is perhaps even more unclear is what will happen going forward to MySQL and the many other open source software technologies — Java, GlassFish application server, OpenOffice.org to name a few — that are under Sun’s moniker?

These questions bring Oracle’s open source citizenship, covered previously on the CAOS blog and in a 451 Group report, into the spotlight. Oracle rightfully deserves credit for its positive participation in the development of the Linux OS and many other open source projects, including Apache, Berkeley DB, Eclipse, InnoDB, PHP, SASH, Spring and Xen.

We’ve certainly emphasized Sun’s open source projects, products and strategy in assessing its value, position and opportunities. Looking across Sun’s assets, the open source holdings have been among the shiniest.

However, this doesn’t really jibe with the view of open source presented by Oracle and its CEO Larry Ellison, a view that I think somewhat misses the point of open source software. Mr. Ellison and his company have showed they value the advantages of open source software development and innovation based on Oracle’s contributions and investments in open source. Still, when asked about having top Linux vendor Red Hat or a similar open source company on his shopping list, Ellison indicated there would be no need to buy an open source company when he could simply take and use their code. In fact, that’s exactly what Ellison and Oracle did with Unbreakable Linux. While it has been taken up by a number of Oracle shops and even some additional customers that see greater value and time-savings in getting their Linux from Oracle, Unbreakable Linux has not exactly broken out. Furthermore, Oracle has always downplayed the commercial and revenue potential for Unbreakable Linux, which has had minimal impact on Red Hat.

So while Oracle has displayed an ability to participate in and benefit from open source software, I think its expectations and aspirations for open source software are limited. You can’t blame a company making billions for not getting too excited about millions, especially when sometimes the millions are simply numbers of users. Nevertheless, Sun is sitting on top of some of the most pervasive, disruptive and popular open source software used in the enterprise today.

With Oracle’s purchase of Sun, we may go from overly high expectations for Sun’s open source software — driven in large part by pressure to right the ship and reward investors — to drastically lowered expectations from Sun’s open source software by an Oracle far more concerned with proprietary software and hardware.

451 CAOS Links 2009.01.20

Red Hat updates Enterprise Linux. Vyatta announces significant progress. Intalio is looking for acquisition targets. A slight difference of opinion over Samba 4. CMSwire spills the beans on Alfresco Labs 3d. And more.

Official announcements
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 Now Available with Leading Virtualization Performance and Next-Generation Java and Processor Support Capabilities Red Hat

Vyatta Grows Open, Linux-Based Networking 600 Percent During 2008 Recession Vyatta

Open Solutions Alliance Releases 2009 Member Predictions Open Solutions Alliance

Webtide and Terracotta Simplify Deployment and Lower Cost of Building Reliable Web Applications Terracotta

Liferay and Terracotta Partner to Deliver Enhanced Scalability for Liferay Portal Liferay

Opengear Launches Partner Program Opengear

OrangeHRM reaches 200,000 downloads OrangeHRM

News articles
Citrix plans virtualisation shake-up with new software James Niccolai, IDG News Service

Alfresco Releases Web Studio with Alfresco Labs 3d Barb Mosher, CMSwire

Active Directory comes to Linux with Samba 4 Rodney Gedda, Techworld

Active Directory in Samba 4 ‘an old story’ Sam Varghese, ITwire

Open source developers ride the cloud Paul Krill, InfoWorld

DesktopLinux Survey 2009 DesktopLinux.com

Blogs
Looking for Acquisition Targets Ismael Ghalimi

How Much is that Project in the Window? Tarus Balog

Plans for 2009 Ian Skerrett, Eclipse Foundation

Brookings Conference on Software and Business Method Patents Highlights Need for Reform Rob Tiller, Red Hat

Zimbra hits 20 million paid mailboxes Matt Asay, Cnet

Netscape Enterprise Server, Now Open Source Brian “Krow” Aker

5 Cost-Efficient, Flexible Open Source Resources for Cloud Computing Sam Dean, OStatic

Why Open Source is Eclipsing Everything Else Glyn Moody, ComputerWorld UK

Oracle outlines its open source “citizenship”

Back in October last year a corporate accountability group called As You Sow attempted to persuade Oracle to detail its commitment to open source by publishing an Open Source Social Responsibility Report.

Oracle resisted the proposal but did promise to share more details on its use of open source in the next version of its Oracle’s Commitment social responsibility report. I just noticed that the renamed Oracle Corporate Citizenship Report (Pdf) was recently published (in late November as far as I can make out) and does indeed include a section on Oracle’s commitment to open source.

In the section “Open Source and Accessibility” Oracle notes that “Open source is a software development approach that offers free access to a product’s source code. Open source permits individuals to adapt a product to their needs and release such modifications so the whole community can benefit.”

The report also lists the major open source projects to which it contributes, including Linux, Xen, PHP, Apache, Eclipse, SASH, Spring, Berkeley DB, and InnoDB but is light on details.

(As it happens The 451 Group has just recently published a report on Oracle’s open source strategy, so clients can join the dots by clicking here, while non-clients can request trial access).

Anyway, the publication of Oracle’s Corporate Citizenship Report reminded me of this suggestion from earlier in the year that corporate and social responsibility might be key to encouraging corporate contributions to open source.

Bradley Kuhn noted in June that the Software Freedom Law Center had received a call from “someone involved with one of the many socially responsible investment houses” who was thinking about “willingness to contribute to FLOSS” as a factor in social responsibility. (The SFLC’s site is down at the time of writing, here’s the cached version of Bradley’s post).

Clearly we are some way from open source being considered socially responsible outside the IT industry but interesting to see a company like Oracle including open source in its responsibility report. IBM mentions open source in its Corporate Responsibility Report (Pdf) while Sun Microsystems mentions it in its Corporate Social Responsibility Report but in both cases that is as much about validation of corporate strategy as it is about being seen to be socially responsible.

Oracle’s new report may say more about Oracle’s changing relationship with open source than it does about a more widespread view of open source as socially responsible, but given the current economic climate it is likely we will see more corporations talking up the use of open source as a tool to make more efficient use of resources.

Choosing virtualization sides

We’ve sure seen some interesting maneuvering on virtualization recently by the major OS players Microsoft, Novell and Red Hat. While Red Hat sought a bigger stake in virtualization with its $107m Qumranet acquisition, Microsoft and Novell were busy releasing the first fruit of their interoperability lab – native support and performance for Novell’s SUSE Linux as a more welcome guest OS on Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.

It’s interesting to see Novell so vigorously supporting Microsoft’s Hyper-V, and this may be part of what accompanies the partnership with Microsoft and its purchase of SUSE Linux coupons, but Novell is certainly not alone in its Hyper-V support. This is also a logical place for Microsoft and Novell to build on their promise of Linux-Windows interoperability. However, it may raise questions about the impact to the other virtualization technology that has figured prominently in Novell’s SUSE Linux for the last couple of years: Xen. Novell insists Xen is its hypervisor of choice and it remains committed to the virtualization software and project. In fact, as Novell seeks to make good on its promise to deliver some of its collaboration with Microsoft back to the greater Linux community, Xen may very well be the place it does so. At the same time, when asked about Red Hat’s Qumranet buy, one Novell executive responded by touting Xen’s ecosystem, which has indeed matured dramatically since Novell first included it in its enterprise Linux more than two years ago.

Red Hat has also affirmed its commitment to supporting Xen as well, even while it was announcing its $100m+ investment in, ahem, another virtualiation technology and company. Nevertheless, Red Hat also realizes the time, effort and maturation that it has taken for Xen to get where it is. In fact, that was one of the drivers for the Qumranet deal, according to one company official who says Red Hat knew it had to get something that was already underway, yet could speed and spread Red Hat’s presence in virtualization. Qumranet and KVM may be the ticket, but the lone Linux vendor will have formidable challenges in its OS rivals Microsoft and Novell, as well as the ‘virtualization only’ vendors (VMware and Citrix) that Red Hat is aiming at with its new acquisition.

Red Hat snaps up Qumranet for $107m

I mentioned just few weeks ago that virtualization specialist Qumranet, would make an “obvious target should Red Hat decide it needs more hypervisor in-house expertise.”

It was so obvious that Red Hat announced today that it is to acquire Qumranet for $107m in cash, adding its KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) platform and SolidICE virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) offering to the Red Hat portfolio.

The acquisition extends Red Hat’s influence over Windows desktops, as the FAQ explains:

“Red Hat will be able to offer a secure and scalable virtualization platform to Windows desktop customers. Red Hat is focused on providing the best infrastructure upon which to run the complete spectrum of enterprise workloads. This will range from server virtualization to desktop virtualization, which includes Linux servers, Windows servers, Linux desktops, and Windows desktops — all running on and managed by a Red Hat infrastructure..”

KVM has been included in the Linux kernel since version 2.6.20, and while it is included in Fedora, it is not yet in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is based on 2.6.18-8. In June the company announced that its forthcoming Embedded Linux Hypervisor would be based on KVM.

However, the company has traditionally sided with the Xen hypervisor and has confirmed that it will continue to support Xen until “at least 2014 (seven years after the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5)” and that “no decision on timing for the transition from Xen to KVM has been made”.

The financial details of the deal are as follows:

“The acquisition is not expected to contribute materially to revenue in the fiscal year ending February 28, 2009, but should add up to $20 million in revenue in the following year. Red Hat expects Qumranet operating expenses will be approximately $3.5-4.5 million per quarter before non-cash stock-based compensation expense, amortization expense and other charges resulting from the closing of the acquisition. The transaction is expected to be dilutive to FY09 GAAP earnings by $0.05 to $0.06 per diluted share and to FY09 GAAP cash flow from operations by $0.03-$0.04 per diluted share.”

451 CAOS Links – 2008.06.20

Neocleus obtains new round of funding. Novell releases OpenSUSE 11. Red Hat acquires open source identity code from Identyx. (and more)

Neocleus Raises Over $11M in Series B Financing, Neocleus (Press Release)
openSUSE Project Announces Availability of openSUSE 11.0, Novell (Press Release)

Red Hat Delivers on Linux Automation with Identity Management and Open Source Systems Management Solutions, Red Hat (Press Release)

Sun Microsystems Releases New Version of Open Source Database Platform for Carrier Grade Telecommunications Environments, Sun Microsystems (Press Release)

Jaspersoft v3 Marks Major Milestone for Commercial Open Source Business Intelligence, Jaspersoft (Press Release)

Black Duck Software Marks the One-Year Anniversary of GPLv3 with an Examination of Trends in Use, Black Duck Software (Press Release)

Subversion 1.5 now available through CollabNet-Sponsored Subversion Open Source Community, CollabNet (Press Release)

Zenoss Scales Open Source Network & Systems Monitoring Solution to Address Needs of Large Enterprise IT Environments, Zenoss (Press Release)

Ingres Joins Red Hat Exchange, Red Hat (Press Release)

SourceLabs Extends Self-Support Technology To Xen Virtualization Software, SourceLabs (Press Release)

IONA Reduces Compliance Complexity For Financial Messaging Data Services, IONA Technologies (Press Release)

Registration Now Open: The Linux Plumbers Conference, Linux Foundation (Press Release)

Red Hat chief: We are hard to do business with, ZDNet UK, Andrew Donoghue (Article)

Over 8 million — way to go!, The Mozilla Blog, Mary Colvig (Blog)

Nokia: Open source developers should play by our rules, InfoWorld – Fatal Exception, Neil McAllister (Blog)