Mainstream software companies are taking direct aim at the growing virtualization market, not content to simply leave the white-hot sector to the likes of VMware, Citrix (XenSource) and Virtual Iron.
This week saw the release of a stand-alone hypervisor from Microsoft, the Hyper-V Server, that doesn't require the company's Windows Server 2008 OS. Instead, the system would reside on the bare metal of virtually any hardware system to provide any number of partitioned operating systems, including Linux. The company is said to be working with Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM and other top hardware vendors for inclusion on their platforms, and is also planning to sell directly to enterprise users.
The announcement came close on the heels of Oracle's plan to launch its own version of a Xen-based hypervisor designed to consolidate the company's virtualization offerings with its Linux, database, middleware and applications software. The company claims it can triple the efficiency of third-party virtualization systems, namely VMware, although ZDNet reports a growing chorus of independent analysts who say Oracle is full of hot air on this one. Remember when the company was going to take down Red Hat with its own Linux implementation?
Regardless, with such a broad spectrum of hardware, software, middleware and what-have-you-ware vendors all plying virtualization solutions, it's hard to imagine that the technology won't become a simple commodity within a few years.