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Novell's Technical Strategy - And Progress in 2006

Taken from Jeff Jaffe's (CTO of Novell) Blog:

In my last posting, I defined Novell’s technical strategy as:

The world’s best and most interoperable Linux surrounded with management services that leverage our footprint to build a business solving customer problems in heterogeneous systems management.

Here I will describe steps that we took in 2006 to achieve this. There were four ingredients:

  1. Create the most advanced Linux.
  2. Recognize that virtualization was a key component in this most advanced Linux, and a key leverage point for interoperability.
  3. Recognize that interoperability with Microsoft Windows was a key customer driver in the heterogenous world, and leverage our Linux and virtualization technologies to create a Linux strategy that would interoperate with Windows.
  4. Build out our management services and workgroup products, with a focus on Linux, heterogeneity, and virtualization.

...

Virtualization

Recall the capability provided by virtualization. On a single computer, you can run multiple guest operating environments on a single host operating system. This allows many applications to share compute resources which both optimizes resource usage and also reduces management complexity.

We have been leading the XEN virtualization solution in the marketplace since July. As mentioned in an earlier blog, a key benefit of the XEN approach is that by using paravirtualization one gets much better performance than with full virtualization.

Here, however, I would like to emphasize a different aspect of XEN virtualization. That is the role it plays in interoperability.

There is a growing industry consensus that the XEN technology embedded in Linux is the universal hypervisor for server side computing. This means that XEN suddenly has a huge role in interoperability.

Today’s data centers are littered with different server platforms. Bringing them together with a single hypervisor technology is too important to be in the hands of one company. So the entire industry (including chip manufacturers, server vendors, and operating systems companies) united around an open source project – XEN. Once the XEN technology is embedded within a Linux distribution, such as SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, then Linux becomes the universal host. The ability to run disparate operating environments – virtualized – on this universal host gives an unprecedented level of interoperability to the end customer. Systems management simplified.

We have had a flurry of announcements to strengthen XEN and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. In July, we announced SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.

In July, we announced SLES 10 as first to market with XEN. In September, we added support for SLES 9 and RHEL guests. In November, we announced our agreement with Microsoft to support Windows paravirtualized on SLES and SLES optimized on Windows. Both of these are important to the mixed source solution. Later in November, we announced ZENworks Virtual Machine Management and Orchestrator to manage these environments. Also, we provided our preview announcement of Open Enterprise Server 2, with NetWare paravirtualized on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (using XEN). Clearly we are creating the mixed source environment, driving interoperability and management, and leveraging virtualization to be both a good host and a good guest.

Read the entire post, here.

Published Wednesday, January 17, 2007 10:36 PM by David Marshall
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