Feeds

Citrix's 'Kensho' tools shed earthly hypervisor restraints

Seeks application workload Nirvana

The essential guide to IT transformation

Citrix Systems is developing a set of Open Virtual Machine (OVM) format tools that will let virtualized applications jump across different hypervisors.

Dubbed Project Kensho, the tools will be released as a technical preview for download by the end of this quarter. The code allows pre-configured virtual applications (viz. virtual appliances) to run across Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, and VMware ESX hypervisors.

Citrix reckons Kensho will help companies handle a mix of virtulization software in their data centers. That's something Citrix says will become more common as x86 virtualization becomes mainstream. It's also a kindly gesture to Microsoft, a long-time partner of Citrix and a newly arrived combatant in the serious server virtualization space. Add this altogether, and you find Citrix trying to get a foot in the door of shops currently running the market leader, VMware.

Although Citrix paints the project as hypervisor independent, there's currently no word about support for Oracle, Red Hat, and Sun virtualization platforms. (We put that in to be polite.)

The OVF specification was originally penned by Citrix (or rather XenSource before it was acquired) and VMware with contributions from Microsoft, IBM, HP, and Dell. The format was submitted to the Distributed Management Task Force in 2007, which accepted the draft proposal.

OVF unites the three virtualization platforms together in an XML package that holds all the necessary installation and configuration parameters. This allows any virtualization house that implements the standard to run hypervisor-agnostic virtual machines.

According to VMware, its own file format VMDK differs in that it only encodes a single virtual disk from a virtual machine. VMDK does not contain information about the virtual hardware of the machine. In contrast, the OVF format provides a complete specification of the virtual machine. ®

Bootnote

Kensho is a Buddhist term for glimpsing enlightenment by perceiving your true nature. It's often used to describe an initial awakening to the essence of the mind and perceiving one's self as impermanent and ever-changing.

We assume Citrix doesn't intend for the project to live up to the title, as ISV employees who shed earthly attachments and break free from the eternal wheel of Samsara on a journey to enlightenment tend to neglect computer work.

Case in point: The Indian emperor Ashoka the Great (304 BC-232 BC): Not a big player on the x86 virtualization scene. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.