Home > In the News > VMware launching developer program VMware launching developer program Eugenia Loli 2005-06-06 In the News 12 Comments VMware plans to unveil a subscription plan Monday to grant developers cheaper and easier access to the company’s products. Elsewhere, Bochs 2.2 was released. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 12 Comments 2005-06-06 11:43 am While I generally like VMware, it has not changed much in many years. All it takes is Microsoft rolling out a few handy features and there will be no VMWare, at least on the low end. Maybe the fancy ESX product will survive, at least until Microsoft gives you Virtual SMP on the low end. And then ESX starts looking crazy expensive. I will hope for VMWare, but this developer program (which should have been in place FIVE YEARS ago at least) is likely too little, too late. 2005-06-06 12:01 pm Well microsoft will have no product once XEN gets up an running with backing from AMD and the like. Once this becomes a good solution AMD would have specific hooks for virtulization software to use. windows footprint too big + virtulization software ESX is developed to be a virtualization hardware platform style like XEN Maybe virtual server will be good but it may only support Windows products plus anti piracy etc… Open source dont care about this sort of thing only stolen code. If microsoft like it or not virtulization hardware / software will be taken away from them…. 2005-06-06 2:05 pm @Lord-Storm Actually, I thought MS was coming around to supporting Linux, etc now in the virtualisation software – they’ve realised it’s something their customers actually do want, so I believe they’ve been forced to rethink. I imagine that future revisions of MS virtualisation software could be pretty good. There are rumours that Longhorn Server will include a hypervisor. If they can also introduce some OS tweaks to improve performance, this could be really exciting stuff. That said, Xen’s development is coming along nicely. The 3.0 release will support running some unmodified operating systems using Intel’s VT extensions (code for this is already in the tree). Support for running Windows may have to wait for a later release, however. As well as the Intel code-drops, AMD are porting support for their virtualisation extensions. Discussions are currently underway on the mailing list between the Xen team, Intel and AMD engineers, regarding how to integrate all this functionality cleanly. It’s worth noting that (different) teams at Intel and AMD are probably working with MS and VMWare to help them add support: the chip companies will want as much support out there for their extensions as possible. 2005-06-06 2:45 pm FYI, the Windows hypervisor was announced at WinHEC and Microsoft provides Virtual PC and Virtual Server with MSDN. Linux support in Virtual Server SP1 was announced at MMS. Hypervisor news: http://www.itjungle.com/two/two042705-story02.html Linux support in Virtual Server SP1: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/steve/2005/04-20ManagementS… Windows hypervisor overview: http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/8/f/98f3fe47-dfc3-4e74-92a… Virtual Server roadmap: http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/8/f/98f3fe47-dfc3-4e74-92a… 2005-06-06 3:26 pm Thanks – that’s _very_ interesting. I didn’t know MS had made so many details of their plans public. It looks like MS is following IBM’s hypervisor and Xen in using Paravirtualisation (they call the modifications to an OS for the hypervisor “enlightenments”). Cue the Xen / Zen / enlightenment jokes 🙂 It’ll be interesting to see if VMWare introduce they’re own extensions for virtualization-aware OSes, or if they support the MS API / ABI or something else. It seems likely they’ll need to do something! It’ll also be interesting to see if the specs for the MS enlightenment API are available for Open Source to use – both on the OS and the hypervisor side. 2005-06-06 4:32 pm be interesting to see if the specs for the MS enlightenment API are available for Open Source to use If there’s Xen, I wouldn’t want to touch any MS version of any virtualisation software, ever. 2005-06-06 4:38 pm MS Hypervisor will not be like Xen, it will run unmodified OS as well as modified. Modifications will be for performance improvements only. Even today both Virtual Server and VMWare patches the OS at runtime to make it more performant. 2005-06-06 4:40 pm First there is no point in biased views. Secondly, will XEN ever run a 32-bit guest on a 640-bit host? I think they are not doing anything like that and that itself turns me away from that (other than it the current version being too unstable for now) 2005-06-06 4:41 pm <eop> 2005-06-06 4:56 pm Sure, it’s not exactly like Xen: Xen will only run unmodified OSes on machines with hardware virtualisation assistance, whereas (I assume) the MS hypervisor will run unmodified OSes on machines without such hardware support, albeit at a performance hit. However, it’s architecture does have a number of similarities with Xen and the OpenPower hypervisor: * hypervisor-based architecture, runs underneath hosted OSes * device drivers run an an OS kernel *on top* of the hypervisor, not in the hypervisor itself (hence compatibility with existing device drivers) * explicit hypercall API for things that are hard to virtualise eg. memory management (not sure OpenPower has this) * explicitly virtualisation-aware device drivers 2005-06-06 5:00 pm Heh, I’d like one of those 640-bit machines 😉 Support for 32-bit guests on a 64-bit host is planned when using VT or Pacifica for full-machine virtualisation. It won’t be in the 3.0 release but likely in a later point release. Support for fully paravirtualised 32 bit guests on a 64 bit host is not currently planned but it is technically possible and so could happen at some point in the future. 2005-06-06 6:41 pm I’m glad you like it 😉 But it’d still be nice if: a) Linux could be adapted to make use of MS enlightenments and virtual devices when running on their hypervisor b) if it was possible for Xen to support the MS enlightement API for users who want to run Windows under Xen It will be interesting to see under what terms MS make their APIs available to the developer community.