KVM should join Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validation Program

Recently, Brian and I spent some time in Sunnyvale, Calif. working with Qumranet testing their Solid ICE VDI solution.

Recently, Brian and I spent some time in Sunnyvale, Calif. working with Qumranet testing their Solid ICE VDI solution. Solid ICE uses an open-source hypervisor called KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) to host Windows XP VM's. Qumranet is the company that develops KVM and makes it available for free, while Solid ICE is their commercial product that uses KVM. During our tests, we learned that KVM is a very capable hypervisor and should probably be considered among the ranks of the other popular hypervisors out there. You'll see more on this and our test results in the near future.

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced an expanded support policy augmented by a new virtualization software validation program called the "Server Virtualization Validation Program." The program is open to software vendors who can validate that their software can run Windows Server 2008 and other versions of Windows Server. Currently Cisco, Citrix, Novell, Sun, Virtual Iron, and VMware are members of this program.

You'll notice that Qumranet is not on that list, and I think that's hurting them from a credibility standpoint. An endorsement at that level would surely legitimize the product and help them gain the credibility that they need. It's essentially a Who's Who of the virtualization world, so being on that list should be of the utmost importance for any company looking to make a splash in the virtualization market.

That said, KVM already has quite a bit going for it. In 2006, it was deemed solid enough to be included in the mainline Linux kernel as of version 2.6.20. That alone is a pretty solid endorsement.

Lately, the main linux distributions have been duking it out over which hypervisor to use for their platform. Last year, Red Hat chose KVM to be the hypervisor in the hobbyist version of their OS - Fedora. At the time, Red Hat CEO Brian Stevens said of Qumranet CTO Moshe Bar's technical approach to developing KVM, "He absolutely nailed it." This year, Red Hat also announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux, their flagship product, will switch from a Xen-based hypervisor to a KVM-based solution that, combined with oVirt, would provide another alternative to VMware's free ESXi platform.

Clearly there is some major interest and confidence in KVM, but as of right now it's mostly coming from the open source/Linux gang. I think in order for KVM (and Solid ICE) to gain legitimacy, they need to be part of the SVVP program that Microsoft has put in place. As companies look to virtualized environments for the Windows servers and workstations, they're surely going to stick to the companies on that list.

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Brian, please don't refer to open source or Linux users/promoters as the "open source/Linux gang".  The term "gang" does not imply credibility to, nor the importance and size (in market share and dollars) that open source and Linux play in the corporate environment.

 Otherwise, I agree completely and appreciate the analysis.

 Rodd Ahrenstorff


Actually, this is my post, and I surely didn't mean to offend anyone, but in our corner of the world - the application delivery world - Linux / OSS hasn't yet made much of an impact.  And while I do respect open source and Linux's place in the corporate data center, the number of folks that are using it in a way that pertains to application delivery and VDI is not that high.

Still, thanks for keeping me on my toes.

Gabe, great article, although I would like to add that in regards to application delivery Linux is a market leader. Please note that most Enterprise apps, i.e. Oracle, SAP, BEA etc run on Linux. Keep up the great work!

Thanks.  I understand what you're saying when you say that Linux is a market leader, but that's in applications themselves.  Application Delivery as we use it is focused on getting an application from point A to point B with the best possible user experience (and in the most cost effective way, of course!).  Things that I consider to fall under the Application Delivery umbrella are essentially what we cover here - Streaming, Server-Based Computing, and VDI. 

On either side of what I'm calling "Application Delivery", we have the database and application servers and the "clients" (not just thin, not just fat, but all of them...phat?), and it's in those places where Linux has had the biggest impact. It's only a matter of time until there's a reasonable OSS/Linux solution that falls in that delivery tier, but for now it's just not there. 

This appreas to be a fluid list, as VMware has been added since it was originally posted.
Yeah, I saw that.  They were apparently trying to get their ducks in a row and it just didn't happen in time for the press release from Microsoft.
Today, the only commercial implementation of KVM is in Qumranet's Solid ICE desktop virtualization product.  Solid ICE doesn't have any relevance to SVVP because SVVP is focused on  Windows Server, not XP/Vista used for desktop virtualization.  So I wouldn't see Qumranet seeking this until Microsoft broadens the scope of SVVP.
Are they ever coming, have I missed it, or was just a waste of time for the commuinty to give you feedback on what to test, you tested it, it sucked and now Qumranet want to kill the results? Please advise. forgive me if they have already been published.
strong argument...
that's why there are no results