Multivendor Xen Paints A New Model - InformationWeek
Software // Operating Systems
01:15 PM
Connect Directly

Multivendor Xen Paints A New Model

It's catching up to proprietary rivals, as many vendors build around it.

Now that Citrix Systems owns XenSource, the lead originator of the Xen hypervisor, what code must Citrix give back to the open source community, as it pours money into developing proprietary products around Xen? The answer offers clues to how open source plus proprietary development will coexist.

Xen is open source code distributed under the GPL Version 2, which requires a vendor to make its code changes freely available to customers. That means competitors only need buy one copy of, say, Citrix XenServer to examine the source code. In effect, all Xen changes in Citrix's proprietary product will be shared with the community. "We have no fear of making all the bits available," says Simon Crosby, CTO of the XenSource unit inside Citrix.

The Xen vendor community has "stumbled on a model that endorses differentiation by all vendors," he says, while collaboration continues on the core Xen hypervisor. The Xen project is devoted to "producing the best engine, not the entire car." Vendors will surround the Xen hypervisor with management and development tools, and applications for niches such as disaster recovery or energy conservation.

When Citrix acquired XenSource, control of the Xen project went to a new advisory board of the five top contributors plus representatives of Citrix, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Novell, Red Hat, and Sun. Since then, Xen has moved rapidly to achieve parity in many respects with market leader VMware's hypervisor, ESX Server. As Xen becomes the basis for more proprietary product sets, it's likely to evolve faster than any open source effort could on its own.

Return to the story:
A New Model: Open Source Software After It's Acquired

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends for 2018
As we enter a new year of technology planning, find out about the hot technologies organizations are using to advance their businesses and where the experts say IT is heading.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll