At the Boston show, HP Linux Vice President Martin Fink said HP Labs plans to open source some of its virtual machine management technology to the Xen open source project under the General Public License (GPL), an announcement that drew a round of applause from the audience. HP Labs has been collaborating with the Xen open source project for some time.
Fink said HP and XenSource, the developers behind Xen, are also working to create standards for open source virtualization that can be endorsed across the industry. Such a move would pose significant competition for the leading proprietary virtual software vendor VMWare.
At the Linux show, Novell announced plans to integrate Xen packages into its forthcoming SUSE Professional 9.3 update and its next commercially supported version of SUSE Enterprise Linux Server Version 10, tentatively due in 2006.
At its launch of its Enterprise Linux 4 Monday night, Red Hat said it will offer virtualization technology for SUSE Linux in pilot testing in 2005 but did not elaborate further. Recently, a top developer for the Linux open source project said Xen open source virtualization code would be integrated into the Linux kernel in the near future.
Meanwhile, AMD and XenSource announced at the conference a plan to port Xen open-source virtualization package to AMD64 technology.
While there are a number of proprietary vendors that provide virtualization software on Linux, namely market leader VMWare, having an open source standard will help get virtualization deployed across the enterprise more quickly and consistently, Fink said during his keynote.
"We're working with Xen to create open standards for virtualization, we want open virtualization adopted by kernel.org so everyone can take advantage of it. Xen is a viable open source alternative."