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A Quick Look at Virtualization Plans in OpenSUSE 10.3

Some of the changes coming in openSUSE 10.3 suggests that if you are interested in virtualization, this release won't dissapoint.  This release of OpenSUSE has just about any type of popular virtualization platform you can think of, including Xen, VirtualBox, QEMU and KVM.

OpenSUSE News talks to Frank Kohler, the project manager for Virtualisation at SUSE, to help find out a bit more.

 

Could you tell us a little about Xen in SUSE? Why has it been so successful?

Francis, first thanks for offering me a chance to talk a bit about my area of work.

SUSE has broad experience with virtualisation, especially since supporting the IBM mainframe. Therefore interest in the Xen project has been established from the beginning. As an OS vendor SUSE has developers with essential knowledge and skills needed for the tight integration of hypervisor technology and OS. SUSE has therefore become one of the Top 5 contributors to the Xen project.

Today Xen has matured to a level where it is competitive to other hypervisor technologies in the market. Xen has established a large ecosystem, which is essential for adaption on various levels. SUSE contributes to virt-manager as well as to Novell’s datacenter management solution ZENworks Orchestrator offering solutions to a broad audience.

Virtualisation applications, such as VirtualBox recently, appear to benefit greatly by being licenced as free software. How great are the incentives for other virtualisation software vendors to follow suit, and do you think they will?

On one hand we see virtualisation being commodity today with industry leaders embracing virtualisation hand in hand with virtualisation specialists.

On the other hand the biggest share of the market is yet not virtualised offering huge opportunities to everyone. There’s still an enormous space for mainstream software and even more for niche products. So, yes, absolutely there are great incentives to publish virtualisation software and appliances be it fame, glory, money or all of that. If you have a great idea though, please talk to us (SUSE) and me first.

KVM appears to be progressing very well in the upstream Linux kernel. What do you think the future holds for it?

Indeed SUSE recognises the growing momentum of KVM and its advantages in certain areas. It’s good to see developers trying to close gaps to Xen, e.g. in the areas of paravirtualisation, symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) or hardware virtualised environments (VT and AMD-V respectively).

For broader market adoption and success KVM needs to grow its ecosystem though. KVM project’s main sponsor confirms that direction by announcing a product for the desktop and laptop segment just yesterday.

Lguest is another upcoming hypervisor that looks promising. Do you think it will be used in the openSUSE distribution in the future?

Lguest is an impressive technology demonstration with just a few thousand lines of code. Of course Lguest’s scope is limited today therefore it’s hard to foresee it’s future. Yet we all remember Linus’ posting on August 25 in 1991.

What kind of other plans does the virtualisation team at SUSE have for the future?

I’d love to talk more about the future of virtualisation since SUSE has lots of aces up its sleeve; unfortunately many things have not been announced yet. So I will at least talk a bit about a great demonstration SUSE did two weeks ago in San Francisco at one of the largest virtualisation conferences.

SUSE R&D managed on one hand to patch our SUSE Linux Enterprise kernel to VMI enablement and on the other hand to get hold of a VMI enabled enterprise hypervisor. In conjunction with partner middleware application we demonstrated great performance of SUSE Linux both on virtual and physical machines exploiting the very same kernel. Once again SUSE offers freedom of choice.

You can find out more in OpenSUSE News' original article, here.

Published Tuesday, October 02, 2007 6:25 AM by David Marshall
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