A new industry consortium backed by some of the biggest IT companies has opened for business with the object of promoting open virtualisation technologies, especially the KVM hypervisor.
Announced on Wednesday, the Open Virtualisation Alliance counts Red Hat, BMC, Intel, HP, IBM and Suse among its members, and declared its intention to accelerate the adoption of open source virtualisation through education, best practice techniques and technical advice for potential adopters.
The major focus of the new organisation is the open source Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor, which is built into Linux from kernel release 2.6.2 onwards, but supports Linux and Windows as virtual machine guest operating systems.
In a statement, consortium members said that the new organisation complements existing open source communities managing the development of the KVM hypervisor.
It claimed that KVM "leverages the rapid innovation of the Linux kernel, automatically benefiting from scheduler, memory management, power management, device driver and other features being produced by the thousands of developers in the Linux community".
In reality, the main purpose of the Open Virtualisation Alliance appears to be to serve as counterweight to the market dominance of VMware.
"When one company dominates an industry, innovation suffers and customers pay the price," said Red Hat vice president Scott Crenshaw.
Crenshaw added that the open source community is "breaking the stranglehold of closed virtualisation, enabling better performance, scalability, security - and better economics".
However, despite the rousing words, many other members of the Open Virtualisation Alliance already support several other hypervisors in their product lines.
Intel's Doug Fisher, for example, said: "No matter what virtualisation solution is chosen by our customers, the Intel strategy remains the same - to help ensure their choice runs best on Intel architecture."
Other members also stressed that the new organisation is about providing choice, and giving customers the technologies they are looking for.
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