Feeds

Microsoft promises to give away key virtualization spec

Even VMware is invited

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.