09.09.08

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Novell, rPath, Citrix/Xen, VMware: Microsoft Virtualisation Axis?

Posted in Boycott Novell, GNU/Linux, Interview, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers, SUN, Virtualisation, Windows, Xen at 3:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

VMware

Microsoft’s intervention inside VMware was previously discussed in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Old observation won’t be repeated or debated further; instead, here are the latest development, starting with the shocker: VMware’s second co-founder has just left.

After his wife was whacked as CEO by EMC padrino Joe Tucci, VMware co-founder Mendel Rosenblum has decided to retreat to the altogether cosier world of academia.

Rosenblum announced his resignation and return to Stanford University in an company-wide email on Monday night, The New York Times reports.

Rosenblum is married to Diane Greene, whose personality clash with Tucci ended in her sacking in July, much to the annoyance of investors. Tucci offered Greene’s boardroom seat to her computer scientist husband, but he turned it down.

Is Microsoft grabbing greater control over VMware’s strategy and direction by appointing its former (and very notorious) executive, then pressuring out the company’s founders? If the market leader is left soulless for Microsoft to pick up the pieces along with its latest Partner of the Year, EMC, then there’s the ability to play the same games as it already does elsewhere (e.g. Xen, Hyper-V), namely elevation of Microsoft-’approved’ and Microsoft-taxed distributions along with prioritisation of Windows as a host platform.

Only yesterday there was another related report suggesting that “EMC plays kiss chase with Hyper-V.” That’s a very close Microsoft partner marrying VMware, which it control, and Microsoft. It’s a shotgun wedding and it’s part of a series of such recent developments that were covered before.

VMware’s storage parent EMC is providing back-end support for Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and the firm’s System Centre management suite.

The infrastructure giant said today that it will cough up broad technology support and solutions for Microsoft’s new virtualisation strategy and portfolio.

EMC reckoned the move would benefit customers keen to squeeze as much juice as possible out of their MS virt tech investment.

Mary Jo Foley wrote this:

To me, the Microsoft Server and Tools unit’s war on Linux seems to have been replaced with a full-out assault on VMWare these days. Do you think Microsoft now sees VMWare as more of a competitive threat than Linux?

She may be asking the wrong question. Microsoft is trying to bypass or neglect GNU/Linux by either replacing or changing VMware. Ideally, it wants to abolish GNU/Linux or substitute it with the Microsoft-taxed SLES.

rPath

rPath, which joined hands with Novell despite the effects of Microsoft ‘Linux tax’ (some more information about it can be found here), is becoming a Silver Sponsor of a Microsoft launch party.

rPath today announced application providers can use rBuilder® and the rPath Appliance Platform™ to build, deploy and maintain virtual appliances that run on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. rPath is a silver sponsor of Microsoft’s U.S. launch event in Bellevue, Wash.

Does that have anything to do with the company’s recent dealings with Novell? What kind of a GNU/Linux-oriented company invests in Microsoft?

xVM/Sun

Sun too seems to have had its feet dragged.

Sun has made key pieces of its virtualization software available as open source through the OpenxVM.org community. Sun will participate in Microsoft’s Server Virtualization Validation program to validate its virtualization software for Windows Server 2008 and prior versions. Sun and Microsoft are also planning to offer customers the Solaris operating system as a certified guest on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. On its side, Sun will provide Sun Ray thin client customers the ability to access Windows as a guest OS through Hyper-V virtualization.

Sun has already complained about Hyper-V. It understands what Microsoft is trying to achieve.

Novell

Lastly, and probably of most relevance to us, there are Microsoft and Novell. There is some news to come.

The VAR Guy is hearing rumblings from Novell about potential virtualization news at this week’s Microsoft GetVirtualNow event or the upcoming VMworld, scheduled for Sept. 15-18 in Las Vegas. The news will likely involve bi-directional virtualization efforts with Microsoft, according to our resident blogger. Here’s the scoop.

[...]

Truth be told, The VAR Guy despises the patent agreement that Microsoft and Novell signed. And plenty of reporters have raised questions about the relationship.

XenSource (now part of Citrix) will also have some Microsoft-related announcements, having been snatched by a Microsoft partner and left Red Hat bear-footed. There is some discussion about it in this new interview with Red Hat’s CEO. There’s also a small portion there about Novell.

Speaking of Novell, I know that while Red Hat isn’t focused on a consumer desktop, an enterprise desktop has been part of your plans. What do you think of Novell’s enterprise desktop?

They have made a broader investment in [the enterprise desktop]. I’ll be frank: I think we in Red Hat for a long time kind of muddled desktop with consumer, and we really underinvested in the desktop versus what we should [have done]. So, we’re redoubling our investments in the desktop because the desktop’s important.

Our customers are asking for it, we need to have an excellent desktop, and I think we have a very competitive desktop platform out there. But we have not invested as much or as heavily as others.

As far as Red Hat is concerned, Novell and Microsoft joined hands against it. They try to exclude Red Hat from virtualised environments. They use virtualisation as a gatekeeper, much like wiping the MBR on all sort of occasions to destroy access to GNU/Linux on multi-boot PCs.

Novell’s CEO will talk about virtualisation at Iterop, which is a week away. It’s one of the main points of the agreement between Microsoft and Novell. It’s also a key part of their plan to have a shared monopoly (duopoly).

Ron Hovsepian and Steve Ballmer

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