Linux vendor Red Hat is adding virtualisation technology to its offering of open source applications, chief executive Matthew Szulik told vnunet.com in an interview at the Red Hat Summit in New Orleans.
Virtualisation addresses "how software is developed to drive a greater level of innovation", Szulik said. "From fewer servers to the management of those servers and a movement into middleware."
Red Hat's software will incorporate Xen, an open source virtual machine monitor developed by Cambridge University, but also will include code from Red Hat.
Parts of Xen are already included in Red Hat's Fedora Linux distribution, which it uses as a development preview.
The virtualisation project is part of a continuing effort by Red Hat to expand its middleware offering. The company last year unveiled an application server and earlier this week launched the Red Hat Directory Server.
The company might also contribute to the development of the open source J2SE implementation recently kicked off by the Apache Foundation, Szulik said.
"I'm sure we'll have interest in it," he added. Calling the project, dubbedHarmony, a "logical step," he noted that the company will keep expanding its line-up of middleware software titles.
Szulik also predicted that there will be more products coming out of the Netscape code that Red Hat acquired from AOL last year. The code formed the basis for the Red Hat identity server.
The executive declined to name specific products, saying that he will use the Netscape code where needed to fill in holes in Red Hat's product line-up.
"We are not simply going in and replacing Active Directory or iPlanet," he said, in a reference to two products that compete with the Red Hat Directory Server.
"This [Netscape] acquisition means that we are going way beyond just print and file servers."
Red Hat is taking a unique approach to building its middleware portfolio by releasing all the software under general public licence.
Most competitors keep software proprietary to generate revenues until a product has reached the end. Only then do they release the source code. Szulik is aware of the disapproval of his approach. "There are always debates. But for us it's not hurting business," he said.
Sharing knowledge, whether it is in software or other fields of society, is on the rise, he argued. Open source will once again allow the software industry to create value for society.
"Somewhere the tech industry lost the way. Developers really see open source software as a way to improve society. Not to stuff their pockets."
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