EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.25.09

How Microsoft ‘Bought’ Xen to Remove/Reduce Choice (Is Novell Next?)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers, Virtualisation, Xen at 8:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A SUFFICIENTLY LARGE HEAP of developments may have come at the beginning of this week, so here is a quick rundown through various interpretations and how things are inherently connected.

Citrix Ruins Xen for Linux

The latest announcement from Citrix is one which was covered yesterday and here is the press release from the company. There is nothing particularly shocking there.

Ignition Partners and Citrix were apparently used for their relationships with Microsoft to bring over Xen to Microsoft’s side. Having planted influence/cronies inside XenSource, Microsoft then 'bought' it using a partner [1, 2], only to hand it over back to Microsoft, over time [1, 2, 3]. The saga can be summarised as follows:

  1. Former Microsoft employees (Ignition Partners) put money in XenSource, which other companies have come to depend on as means of enabling GNU/Linux and choice
  2. At least one crony was put in charge of Xen (former Microsoft General Manager)
  3. XenSource was sold to Citrix without resistance
  4. Microsoft took Xen’s agenda from Citrix, which was crowned Microsoft Partner of the Year (2008) after buying XenSource

According to Parallels, it’s not surprising that Xen is no longer what it used to be, which leads to a cascading effect (companies dependent on Xen.org).

“I make the further prediction that Citrix will stop developing XenServer altogether since it is not needed to make XenApp work. This will signal the eventual end of XEN. You really have to applaud Microsoft’s Server group here: XEN could have been a serious competitor to them, but instead it ended up being a partner and technology provider. Now, when the difficult economic climate could have created considerable opportunities for the open source XEN offering, it is instead largely out of the picture due to its relationship with Citrix, and by extension with Microsoft.”

Novell is bound to help it too.

[Y]ou can safely bet that Novell will soon be joining up with Microsoft and Citrix to try to shove VMware out of the game with Citrix’s free XenServer.

Further, about Novell.

Particularly prior to the interoperability announcement between Red Hat and Microsoft, some bloggers were attacking Novell for moves such as improving interoperability with ASP.NET, getting the Novell/Microsoft Moonlight project included in Ubuntu Linux 9.04, and increasing its hiring of .NET developers.

It’s a case of focus shifting. Is Novell’s fate similar to that of Xen?

Novell and Maritz

Microsoft has already stirred up trouble inside VMware as well. It put its employees in charge of another virtualisation option that’s by far the market leader. This deserves or even warrants investigation by competition authorities. Now Novell is sidling with VMware as well.

Novell and VMware said Tuesday that they are collaborating so independent software vendors can build SUSE Linux Enterprise virtual appliances. The two companies will also develop VMware-ready appliances on SUSE Linux.

Red Hat Goes It Alone

The Microsoft-Red Hat agreement remains a bit of an enigma. This has been the subject of much debate recently, but it’s not known what the agreement actually meant in technical terms and whether it involved KVM or Xen (or both) on the non-Microsoft side. Sam Varghese wrote about the subject and also included a valuable quote from Samba’s lead (Samba has always been against the Novell deal).

Said Tridgell: “I certainly have no objection in principle to interoperability agreements, and I am pleased that Red Hat have gone to the trouble of pointing out that the agreement does not contain any of the patent components that are so problematic with the Novell agreement.”

“How does this impinge on Microsoft/Novell’s ‘virtualisation interoperability’ deal? What do Novell get out of it? Or what did they think they were getting out of it,” asks one reader.

“As far as I can see, Novell signed away some IP rights and agreed to get out of the desktop business in return for Microsoft collaboration in the data center. Now it seems that Microsoft has signed a similar deal with Red Hat, without signing away any patent rights, and now VM ‘partner’ Citrix is ‘giving away’ its offerings. Seems like Microsoft stole the wind right out of their sails.”

Novell is by all means the biggest loser in this case and as announced in an important press release, Red Hat has just outlined its virtualisation strategy.

Red Hat Monday introduced an entire line of virtualization software aimed at disrupting the current market and leader VMware’s position by giving customers an open-source option for virtualizing their data centers.

Red Hat unleashed another press release about its ISVs and the role of virtualisation, which it is careful not to label “cloud” or some other buzzword.

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced its virtualization agenda and roadmap for 2009, including confirmation that its broad ecosystem of applications tested and certified to run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux are certified to run in a Red Hat virtualized platform with no modifications. Red Hat offers a broad ecosystem of certified applications, enabling expanded flexibility and choice for customers.

There is additional analysis from Sean Michael Kerner and from Timothy Prickett Morgan of IT Jungle/The Register.

Red Hat is a player in operating systems and middleware, and it wants to be a player in server virtualization – at least more of a player than it has been since it parked the Xen hypervisor inside its Enterprise Linux 5 distro back in March 2007.

This news also got the attention of Dana Blankenhorn and that of IBM’s Linux chief. SJVN argues that Red Hat demotes Xen and pushes for KVM instead.

Despite Red Hat’s surprising announcement last week that it would be partnering with Microsoft on virtualization, on February 23rd, Red Hat’s announced that it would be switching its virtualization strategy from a mix of virtualization programs, including the Microsoft-friendly Xen, to focusing on Linux’s baked-in KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine)

KVM, as Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens admitted during a press call, is still a work in progress. But, Stevens assured the audience, by working with IBM and Intel, Red Hat will be able to deliver its full Red Hat Virtualization portfolio within the next 12-months. The first fruits of this switch will appear in RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) 5.4, which is due out in August 2009.

“The Microsoft-friendly Xen,” it says right there. Paula Rooney rightly opines that Red Hat has lost interest in Xen:

More importantly, Red Hat issued its war plan against Xen.

So Microsoft turned Xen from a friend of GNU/Linux almost into its foe, at least from some companies’ perspective. What a difference cash infusions can make.

Red hat woman

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. Ian said,

    February 25, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Gravatar

    Xensource, not Xen. Xen is the open source project. You’re talking about a commercial package using the Xen hypervisor.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 25, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, but remember who develops Xen.

  3. the11thplagueofegypt said,

    February 25, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks for the summary about Xen, it’s really clear.
    What I don’t understand is: how can they stop the development of an open-source program ? Can’t anyone else bring it on ?

    Or may they have the possibility to close-source it, as they own its copyright ?

  4. Ian said,

    February 25, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Gravatar

    I wouldn’t think they could close source it. It’s a GPL2 licensed product. Technically it doesn’t matter who develops it as it can be forked if there is sufficient interest and reason to be forked. In reality, if Citrix were to close the doors on the Xen open source project, chances are the project would suffer badly unless someone picks the ball up and runs with it. If someone doesn’t want to take it on, there probably wasn’t a huge amount of interest in it to begin with.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 25, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, Ian beat me to it.

  6. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 25, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, Nessus was GPL also, but when the plug was pulled, it was out of circulation for over a year before being resurrected as OpenVAS.
    http://www.openvas.org/

    Xen has deteriorated badly under Citrix (which is famous for crapware anyway). MS had to take Xen out because it was the best option for running legacy systems (Windows) under virtualization. Moving Xen to Citrix was a low-profile way of putting bricks on its feet and making it suck. With development slammed to a halt and diminishing quality, people have little choice but to leave for other, now better, options.

    VirtualBox might or might not have an advantage being under Sun now, but to be sure the US Corporate environment does not in any way envigor development of any kind. So the question there is the added burden of corporate culture offset by the protection and, if we are lucky, additional resources.

    In some ways, this all might be of long term benefit as a sort of natural selection for virtualization.

What Else is New


  1. Links 18/3/2019: Solus 4, Linux 5.1 RC1, Mesa 18.3.5, OSI Individual Member Election Won by Microsoft

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

    Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network



  3. Director Iancu Generally Viewed as a Lapdog of Patent Trolls

    As Director of the Office, Mr. Iancu, a Trump appointee, not only fails to curb patent trolls; he actively defends them and he lowers barriers in order to better equip them with bogus patents that courts would reject (if the targets of extortion could afford a day in court)



  4. Links 17/3/2019: Google Console and IBM-Red Hat Merger Delay?

    Links for the day



  5. To Team UPC the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Has Become a Joke and the European Patent Office (EPO) Never Mentions It Anymore

    The EPO's frantic rally to the very bottom of patent quality may be celebrated by obedient media and patent law firms; to people who actually produce innovative things, however, this should be a worrisome trend and thankfully courts are getting in the way of this nefarious agenda; one of these courts is the FCC in Germany



  6. Links 16/3/2019: Knoppix Release and SUSE Independence

    Links for the day



  7. Stopping António Campinos and His Software Patents Agenda (Not Legal in Europe) Would Require Independent Courts

    Software patents continue to be granted (new tricks, loopholes and buzzwords) and judges who can put an end to that are being actively assaulted by those who aren't supposed to have any authority whatsoever over them (for decisions to be impartially delivered)



  8. The Linux Foundation Needs to Speak Out Against Microsoft's Ongoing (Continued) Patent Shakedown of OEMs That Ship Linux

    Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft while taking Microsoft money; he meanwhile ignores how Microsoft viciously attacks Linux using patents, revealing the degree to which his foundation, the “Linux Foundation” (not about Linux anymore, better described as Zemlin’s PAC), has been compromised



  9. Links 15/3/2019: Linux 5.0.2, Sublime Text 3.2

    Links for the day



  10. The EPO and the USPTO Are Granting Fake Patents on Software, Knowing That Courts Would Reject These

    Office management encourages applicants to send over patent applications that are laughable while depriving examiners the freedom and the time they need to reject these; it means that loads of bogus patents are being granted, enshrined as weapons that trolls can use to extort small companies outside the courtroom



  11. CommunityBridge is a Cynical Microsoft-Funded Effort to Show Zemlin Works for 'Community', Not Microsoft

    After disbanding community participation in the Board (but there are Microsoft staff on the Board now) the "Linux Foundation" (or Zemlin PAC) continues to take Microsoft money and polishes or launders that as "community"



  12. Links 14/3/2019: GNOME 3.32 and Mesa 19.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  13. EPO 'Results' Are, As Usual, Not Measured Correctly

    The supranational monopoly, a monopoly-granting authority, is being used by António Campinos to grant an insane amount of monopolies whose merit is dubious and whose impact on Europe will be a net negative



  14. Good News Everyone! UPC Ready to Go... in 2015!

    Benoît Battistelli is no longer in Office and his fantasy (patent lawyers' fantasy) is as elusive as ever; Team UPC is trying to associate opposition to UPC with the far right (AfD) once again



  15. Links 13/3/2019: Plasma 5.15.3,Chrome 73 and Many LF Press Releases

    Links for the day



  16. In the Age of Trumpism EFF Needs to Repeatedly Remind Director Iancu That He is Not a Judge and He Cannot Ignore the Courts

    The nonchalance and carelessness seen in Iancu's decision to just cherry-pick decisions/outcomes (basically ignoring caselaw) concerns technologists, who rightly view him as a 'mole' of the litigation 'industry' (which he came from)



  17. Links 12/3/2019: Sway 1.0 Released, Debian Feuds Carry On

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft is Complaining About Android and Chrome OS (GNU/Linux) Vendor Not Paying for Microsoft Patents (Updated)

    Microsoft, which nowadays does the patent shakedown against GNU/Linux by proxy, is still moaning about companies that don’t pay ‘protection’ money (grounds for antitrust action or racketeering investigation)



  19. Watchtroll Has Redefined "Trolls" to Mean Those Who Oppose Software Patents (and Oppose Trolls), Not Those Who Leverage These for Blackmail Alone

    The controversial change to 35 U.S.C. § 101 guidance is being opposed by the public (US citizens who oppose American software patents), so patent maximalists like Janal Kalis (“PatentBuddy”) and extremists like Gene Quinn (Watchtroll) want us to believe that the public is just “EFF” and cannot think for itself



  20. EPO's Latest 'Results' Show That António Campinos Has Already Given Up on Patent Quality and is Just Another Battistelli

    The patent-granting machine that the EPO has become reports granting growth of unrealistic scale (unless no proper examination is actually carried out)



  21. Links 11/3/2019: Linux 5.0.1, Audacity 2.3.1, GNU Coreutils 8.31

    Links for the day



  22. US Patent Law Currently Not Changing Much and Software Patents Are Still in Limbo

    Surveying the news, as we still meticulously do (even if we don't write about it), it seems clear that American courts hardly tolerate software patents and proponents of such patents are losing their voice (or morale)



  23. EPO Examiner: “I Have Been Against Software Patents and Eventually 3/4 of My Job is Examining Software Patent Applications.”

    Overworked examiners aren't being given the time, the tools and the freedom to reject patents, based on prior art, patent scope and so on; it is beginning to resemble a rubber-stamping operation, not an examining authority



  24. Europe Will Pay a High Price for Software Patents Advocacy by António Campinos in Europe's Patent-Granting Authority

    EPO President António Campinos — like Iancu at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) — is still promoting software patents in Europe even though such patents are clearly detrimental to Europe’s interests



  25. António Campinos -- Like His Father -- Lacks Support From Colleagues, Endorsed Only From the Top

    History lessons from Wikileaks



  26. Links 10/3/2019: GNU and GNOME Releases

    Links for the day



  27. Koch Brothers' Oil Money is Poisoning Academia and Distorting Scholarly Work/Research on Patents

    Meddling in patent law by the Kochs, the oil tycoons who can be seen everywhere Conservative think tanks are, shows no signs of abatement



  28. From Patents on Chewing Gum to Toothpaste Patents: How the EPO Came to Focus on Speed and Volume, Not Quality

    There’s still no proper quality control in place for European Patents — a severe problem which will only further exacerbate the legal uncertainty associated with all European Patents



  29. European Patent Office Press Releases (Two in Two Days) Are Disguised as 'News' and Tell the Opposite of the Truth

    The Office under the 'new' and 'improved' leadership of António Campinos seems to be repeating the mistakes of Battistelli by discrediting anything it says; its press releases, characteristically dubbed "news" for some reason, bear no resemblance to reality and are detached from facts EPO insiders have long known



  30. Links 9/3/2019: International Women’s Day, QtLottie

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts