Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

VMware exec: On free specs, virtualization's boost for Linux

Filed under

VMware is opening up its virtual machine disk format specification, but today's news is about sharing, not open sourcing technologies.

VMware's decision to share at no cost its format specification with developers and vendors will spur big gains in virtualization innovation, according to Dan Chu, senior director of developer/ISV products for VMware, an EMC company in Palo Alto, Calif. Meanwhile, says Chu in this interview, virtualization is knocking down barriers to enterprise Linux and open source software adoption.

Why did VMware decide to share its core virtual machine disk format specification?

Dan Chu: People with large enterprise environments are fully standardizing on VMware; but they also depend on a whole set of key vendors -- like BMC and Symantec -- to provide other functions to do such things as manipulate, update, patch and back up data and systems.

The virtual machine format and specification defines everything from how the application operating system is encapsulated to how it is then put onto a data file system or local or network storage. Giving unrestricted access to the core formats and interfaces and APIs around virtualization lets any developer leverage and develop on top of virtualization. Their innovations will make server virtualization easier to deploy and manage and more highly optimized for customers.

Before this, you would have to either reverse engineer or enter into a very proprietary license that would be restrictive and inhibit development against virtualized environment. We want to make it fully open.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Open source history, present day, and licensing

Looking at open source softwares particularly, this is a fact that is probably useful to you if you are thinking about business models, many people don't care about it anymore. We talk about FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, but if we really are strict there's a difference between free software and open source software. On the left, I have free software which most typically is GPL software. Software where the license insures freedom. It gives freedoms to you as a user, but it also requires that the freedoms are maintained. On the right-hand side, you have open source software which is open for all, but it also allows you to close it. So here we come back to the famous clause of the GPL license, the reciprocity requirement which says, "If I am open, you need to be open." So software that comes under the GPL license carries with it something that other people call a virus. I call it a blessing because I think it's great if all software becomes open. Read more

Mozilla Wants to Save the Open Web, but is it Too Late?

Again, I think this is absolutely correct. But what it fails to recognise is that one of the key ways of making the Web medium "less free and open" is the use of legally-protected DRM. DRM is the very antithesis of openness and of sharing. And yet, sadly, as I reported back in May, Mozilla has decided to back adding DRM to the Web, starting first with video (but it won't end there...) This means Mozilla's Firefox is itself is a vector of attack against openness and sharing, and undermines its own lofty goals in the Open Web Fellows programme. Read more

Open source is starting to make a dent in proprietary software fortunes

Open source has promised to unseat proprietary competitors for decades, but the cloud may make the threat real. Read more

Chakra-2014.09-Euler released

The Chakra team is happy to announce the first release of the Chakra Euler series, which will follow the 4.14 KDE releases. A noticeable change in this release is the major face-lift of Kapudan, which now gives the option to users to enable the [extra] repository during first boot so they can easily install the most popular GTK-based applications. Kudos to george2 for the development and Malcer for the artwork. Read more