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What's next with hypervisors?

John Dix | Dec. 14, 2011
The world of hypervisors is complicated by the fact that there are proprietary and open source tools.

KIM: At SUSE we're seeing the same thing. Even though theoretically it is possible to have hypervisor interoperability, practically speaking it seems like our customers are still adopting technology in those kinds of silos.

How about you Adam, what's your take?

JOLLANS: I think it depends where they're coming from. I think if they've got a mindset of enterprise IT management, then they're looking at how to extend that downward to manage whatever virtual machines they have. Now the environment gets more complex as we get into virtualization on smartphones, virtualization on tablets and things like that. That's coming, and it will make the environment even more heterogeneous.

One last question. We've talked about the view from eight years out, but what about this coming year? What kind of developments would you folks expect to see in the next 12 months?

GILLEN: We're seeing a lot of interest around private cloud right now. Over the next year customers are going to be making some commitment to what their private cloud strategy is going to look like, which means vendors need to make sure those customers understand their roadmap for delivering private cloud functionality. So the discussion really starts to elevate above the hypervisor and it starts to be more about, "OK, tell me what you can do to fill out my private cloud story."

The second thing is that KVM has arguably hit mainstream and we see it as being very acceptable for customers to deploy. Now, will that mean a real rush to KVM? And I think the answer is no. We've been talking all along here about how it becomes a very evolutionary play rather than a revolutionary play. So we would expect to see customers who deploy commercially supported Linux deploy more and more KVM with those Linux installations. So going forward that's one of the other dimensions we're going to see happening.

The third thing that's going to happen in 2012 is that Microsoft is going to bring out the next release of Hyper-V as part of Windows Server 8. Microsoft has made a lot of improvements in their product and, frankly, Microsoft needed to make improvements to get that product up to speed. But they're going to come forward with a product that's pretty feature rich and pretty capable, and at that point I think customer that have been holding out waiting for a Microsoft based solution will arguably have a product that they can feel confident in. [Also see: "Microsoft claims Hyper-V will leapfrog VMware"]

JOLLANS: I agree with all of that. I also expect to see the virtualization management tools for KVM maturing with a number of initiatives to fill out that space. I think we're going to see hypervisors become a standard part of the operating system. And I think we're going to start to see also people exploring nested virtualization, which is something that is just come into the Linux kernel. We've been doing a number of research projects with those machines inside virtual machines which, for scenarios like moving clouds about, could actually bring some benefits.


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