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VMware, XenSource Join Forces To Improve Linux Virtualization Support

Peace has been established on at least one front: XenSource and VMware are working together to improve virtualization in the Linux kernel.

Their original disagreement has been displaced by a commitment to work on a solution together, says Simon Crosby, CTO of XenSource, the company that builds products around Xen virtualization software. The two are trying to come up with a common approach to virtualization support in the Linux kernel.

"With the help of IBM, we made a technology breakthrough that accommodates both," Crosby said in an interview Thursday. The two companies sat down together to work through the problem during the recent Linux Symposium, held in late July in Ottawa, Canada.

Jack Lo, VMware's senior director of R&D, agrees. A group got together at the Symposium "to put together an interface to the Linux kernel. There's been a lot of activity" to reach agreement, he said.

The goal is to allow different hypervisors to manage Linux virtual machines generated by a competitor's software. Hypervisors are a second generation of virtualization software that provides a more efficient way of running virtual machines on a server.

Open-source Xen, first produced in research at Cambridge University, England, is a hypervisor, as is VMware's ESX Server. Microsoft is
working on a hypervisor
called Viridian, due in late 2007 or 2008.

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