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XenSource to spin off Xen project

Quoting BusinessReviewOnline

In case you hadn't noticed, Citrix today announced its intention to acquire XenSource for $500m, a huge amount given XenSource's revenue currently stands at "a few million dollars" according to Citrix’s chief financial officer, David Henshall.

It's a significant announcement, and all the details are here, but there are a couple of interesting open source implications:

1. the companies appear to be planning to spin-off the Xen project
2. XenSource isn't that interested in Linux anymore.

According to the announcement:

"Citrix is also committed to maintaining and growing its support for the Xen open source community, led by XenSource co-founder and Xen project leader, Ian Pratt. Between now and the close of the acquisition, XenSource will work with the key contributors to the Xen project to develop procedures for independent oversight of the project, ensuring that it continues to operate with full transparency, fairness and vendor neutrality – principles that are critical to the continued role of Xen as a freely available open source industry standard for virtualization."

What does this mean exactly? It could be a spin-off, if the comments from XenSource CEO, Peter Levin, are taken literally. “We’ll be working on an independent body to take over some of the Xen project,” he said.

Citrix president and CEO, Mark Templeton, maintained that the company is committed to supporting Xen, and clearly XenSource's future (to some extent) depends on it, but there is a suggestion that the project will be gaining a degree of independence.

I say "to some extent" because it is clear that XenSource's future will rely as much on Microsoft's virttualization technologies as it will on Xen.

“Our product focus is to provide the best Microsoft virtualization experience on the market,” said XenSource CEO, Peter Levine. “We are committed to the delivery of a product suite that is compatible with Microsoft’s future virtualization products.

“We will be building dynamic virtualization services and management tools on top of Viridian,” he 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 Microsoft was an early supporter of the Xen project, the use of the GNU General Public License, combined with Microsoft’s acquisition of Connectix virtual server technology saw close links created with the Linux community.

Xen is included in both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, amongst others, while it is scheduled to be included in the core Linux kernel with version 2.6.23, which is expected in October.

In the meantime, XenSource, which creates commercially licensed virtualization technologies on top of the Xen “engine”, has rekindled its relationship with Microsoft. In July 2006 the company’s struck a deal that will eventually see Windows supporting Linux running on XenEnterprise.

In August the company announced that XenSource was setting up a new office in Microsoft’s hometown of Redmond, Washington to help design and develop the products that will fulfill the co-development agreement.

The new office is focusing on joint development of technology to enable Windows Server 2008 to run Linux on XenEnterprise as well as interoperability between XenEnterprise and Microsoft's Viridian virtualization hypervisor, which is due some six months after Windows Server 2008 arrives in February next year.

“By innovating on both we can bring innovations to the market place that are seen as value-add to Microsoft and also a offer a full stack ourselves,” said Templeton. “There are opportunities for deeper technology and go-to-market [partnerships] between the companies.”

Linux, incidentally, got barely a mention.

Read the original, here.

Published Thursday, August 16, 2007 6:07 AM by David Marshall
Somewhere out there! » Blog Archive » Independant body to manage Xen - (Author's Link) - August 16, 2007 3:55 PM
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