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08.19.07

Sunday Video: Jeremy Allison’s New Presentation on Samba

Posted in Google, Samba, Videos at 11:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sun, Red Hat, Microsoft, and Novell: Whose Side is IBM on?

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Red Hat, SUN, UNIX at 12:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Conflict of interests is something which IBM is well aware of due to its enormous scale. When it comes to Linux and UNIX, there is a conflict. Red Hat and Novell is another. IBM needs to play with Microsoft too, so there is a lot one needs to balance. But what is IBM’s take on the Novell/Microsoft deal? Here is one disconcerting take on the issue:

First, IBM and Novell announced a new partnership on the desktop and in relation to IBM’s Websphere Community Edition. Aimed directly at Red Hat’s JBoss Application Server, this move is fascinating in that it represents the prodigal son returning to the IBM fold, apparently with complete foregiveness for entering that deal with Microsoft. There is no question that this move by IBM will challenge Red Hat/JBoss. And as for the great offense that IBM took with Novell for cozying up to Microsoft, all you have to do is look at the next event.

The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council sent out their invite for upcoming events this week. One of those events is entitled: Microsoft & Novell – Building Bridges. On its face you would expect this to be one of those Microsoft – Novell events trying to justify and promote their relationship. However, this invitation was more interesting given the session sponsors: IBM and the Choate law firm. (Sorry, that little tidbit is not available on the MTLC website; it was included in the e-mail invitation.) So here we have IBM sponsoring a session that attempts to rationalize and buy into the theory that the Microsoft – Novell deal is actually promoting interoperability.

I am pretty certain this anonymised item comes from Mark Webbink (Red Hat). Let us remember that IBM assisted SuSE’s acquisition by Novel. IBM also gave its approval and endorsement on the day Novell signed the deal with Microsoft. So what can be concluded? IBM also talks to Sun, with which it shares document format ambitions. Meanwhile, Novell antagonises that with vocal OOXML supporters such as Miguel de Icaza.

IBM still supports Sun and OpenOffice.org, which is not competing too directly with Lotus. With ODF support ‘out of the box’, they help each other and the recent Solaris-OEM deal speaks volumes.

It seems likely that one of IBM’s main executives will attend an OpenOffice.org event, based on yesterday’s links dump from his blog. While he lobbies for elimination of OOXML as a standard, Novell goes the other way. Whose side is IBM on and how are things being balanced? Are different departments holding a different view on these matters? What will happen when/if Sun becomes more like Novell and Red Hat?

Jonathan Schwartz has done a great favor for his own customers, and may increase software revenues down the road. But all his spin is really lipstick on a pig.

In many ways, Sun is becoming Red Hat.

Virtualisation Debate Revisited: VMWare, Citrix, Xen, Novell, and Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Servers, Virtualisation, Xen at 12:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We already know that Novell is willing to be ‘enslaved’ by Windows VM hosts in the datacentre. We are also aware, based on recent presentations from VMWare and Dell at LinuxWorld, that virtualisation is headed towards the desktop where its use will become more commonplace (if not standard). It’s an emerging and disruptive technology that has escaped some player’s attention.

Recently, several moves were made which might provide insight into Microsoft’s virtualisation strategy and how Novell fits the Big Picture. We’ll present a large series of recent articles and attempt to explain how they relate to one another and what situation we are likely to face at the end of the day.

As you already know, XenSource was acquired by Citrix and it appears like a potential hijack-by-proxy maneuver whose trails lead to Microsoft.

Microsoft is positioned to take on VMWare with a recent IPO and a $20-billion valuation. Yes, it’s not a typo, but some call it hype or insanity. VMWare’s IPO is already being compared to Google’s.

One company, VMware reached a valuation of almost $20 billion within hours of it floating.

Microsoft has a lot to fear and it has a lot to lose. With Xen’s apparent demise when it comes to Linux, KVM et al will probably take its place, but Novell’s relationship with Xen might actually mean that Novell’s Linux will get a consolation price, but never the lead (hosting). Novell has already attempted to defend itself from the inconvenient development.

But according to Novell Canada CTO/CIO Ross Chevalier, the acquisition will not jeopardize the Xen project. He said the acquisition reaffirmed its commitment that virtualization with Xen is an important tool for businesses and Novell will continue to have faith in the project.

Apparently, Mr. Chevalier has not followed some analysts who caught the attention of later news. For example:

This is what Citrix is paying for. That and a close relationship with Microsoft that looks likely to get closer. “We will be building dynamic virtualization services and management tools on top of Viridian,” Levine added. “We will build the same set of products we’ve built on top of Xen for Viridian. We’ve already hired a team to go do that up in Redmond.”

While Citrix maintained it will continue support for the Xen project, this deal is not about a proprietary vendor getting open source religion. It’s about grabbing an emerging player in a rapidly expanding sector of the market.

Here is another one:

The big question here is whether Microsoft will want to encourage running Vista on an open-source hypervisor rather than its own Viridian. That will depend on how far Viridian gets beyond the vaporware stage, as well as the exact license adopted by the new consortium to which Citrix plans to hand over responsibility for free Xen. Microsoft would likely reject any client-side code released under GPL v3, thanks to a clause forbidding use in any consumer hardware that uses digital signatures to prevent users loading their own software.

Some even speculate that Microsoft will take control of Xen by buying Citrix.

VMware, holding some 85 percent of the market, with its VI3 technologies offers a fully integrated stack and represents a third generation of virtualization technology, while Viridian and Xen-based products, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, XenEnterprise and Virtual Iron, remain second-generation products, the report stated.

Where does it all leave us? Well, it appears as though Microsoft, being the control freak that it is, has already taken some first steps to defend its territory.

Software like Parallels Desktop for the Mac or Microsoft’s own Virtual PC for Windows allow multiple operating systems to run simultaneously. When it announced licensing rules for Vista last year, Microsoft said that only Vista Business and Vista Ultimate could run as guest operating systems. The company said virtualization presents inherent security risks and that it hoped by limiting which versions of the OS could act as virtual machines, only sophisticated users and businesses would employ the tactic.

Here is a more recent one.

Microsoft will not allow Windows Vista or Windows XP to be virtualized on top of Linux, Sam Ramji, the director of Microsoft’s open-source software lab, said at the annual LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here Aug. 7.

The future looks bright, doesn’t it? A series of ill maneuvers, deception, and a EULA, as well as a deal with weak Linux distributors, is all part of a larger strategic game.

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