OpenxVM and GPLv3

At Oracle Open World today, Rich Green announced that xVM Ops Center will be open sourced using the popular GPLv3 open source license. For those of you who don't follow open source licensing, GPLv3 is the latest version of the GNU Public License, released on June 29, 2007. While some open source software, namely the Linux kernel, is still licensed under the legacy GPLv2 license, Sun felt it was appropriate to go with the newest GPL license for our newest software for management of physical and virtualized environments. We feel the use of GPLv3 for OpenxVM.org will encourage the next generation of open source developers, wanting to adopt the latest licensing models, to join our new community for building next-generation data center virtualization and management technologies.

Of course we don't expect every company in the virtualization and management space to join OpenxVM.org. While it seems everybody and their brother have jumped on the virtualization bandwagon this year, VMware seems intent on sticking with their proprietary approach. I wonder if VMware's CEO Diane Green is at all influenced by parent company EMC's views on proprietary software? On separate note, if EMC would like to use ZFS, one of the leading open source file systems, we are happy to talk. In fact, with our newly integrated in-kernel CIFS, EMC might just want to dump their legacy home-brewed OS and go whole hog with OpenSolaris. Don't worry Joe, if you still want ZFS but don't want to go the open source licensing route, we can always write you a commercial license for Solaris. Open source is nice, but there are also advantages of owning your own IP. Since Dell seems intent on becoming the largest distributor of Solaris, and Dell is already one of EMC's largest OEMs, EMC is half way there! Michael might even buy more of that EMC storage if you ran Solaris as your storage OS. Or maybe he will just want to start OEMing Thumpers instead.

Anyhow, back to virtualization. More interesting will be to see to what extent Microsoft participates in OpenxVM.org. To date, Microsoft has been pushing their Open Specification Promise for their virtualization technologies including the Microsoft Hypercall API now part of the recently named Hyper-V feature in upcoming Windows 2008. Don't get me wrong, we are very happy that Microsoft is promising to keep their hypercall specification open. We are very much relying on that promise, as well as our OEM agreement with Microsoft, to ensure we are both a perfect host and a good guest. Yes, Microsoft has committed to work with Sun to support Solaris as a guest on Hyper-V and vica versa to support Windows Server running as a guest on VMware. Ask Diane what her party line is on that! Of course if I was Diane, I would be asking Joe why he gets not only his own page but a picture too? Maybe once VMware's market cap exceeds that of EMC's Diane will get the picture and Joe will have to go faceless. Of course Diane could come work at Sun, where any employee who wants to gets their own photo on our web site, but we would have to have a little talk to her about that open source nonsense before we hired her. My only advice to Diane, whatever company you manage to get your picture at, be sure to smile.

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