Feeds

Microsoft promises to give away key virtualization spec

Even VMware is invited

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Hoping to up interest in its virtualization wares, Microsoft today freed up one of its key specifications used to manipulate virtual servers and applications.

Redmond has pushed the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) Image Format specification under the umbrella of its Open Specification Promise (OSP). That means that Microsoft will license out VHD for free and promises not to sue companies which build their own products around the spec.

Microsoft has shipped the VHD format since May of 2005 and uses it to combine data about a virtual operating system and application into a single file. Software makers and customers can then shove that file from server to server.

"We are focused on delivering interoperability by design,” said Bob Muglia, a Microsoft SVP. "By having the VHD specification available under the OSP, the technology is viable for any development or business model."

Microsoft had already granted a VHD license to rival/partner XenSource. The smaller software maker used the technology to move virtual machines created on Microsoft servers over to the open source Xen. VMware failed to acquire a VHD license, and we'll be watching to see if it picks up the spec now.

VMware, which pulled in $189m last quarter, has dominated the server virtualization market and forced Microsoft into some unusual behavior. Microsoft, for example, has decided to give away its server virtualization products for free, has teamed with the open source player XenSource and has opened its server licensing policy on the Data Center version of Windows Server to allow for free virtual OS licenses.

Microsoft plans to revamp its virtualization play months after Longhorn Server is released by shipping software similar to what VMware and Xen offer today.

The likes of Virtual Iron, Network Appliance, BMC and Brocade use VHD today. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.