two
Volume 4, Number 40 -- October 31, 2007

'Viridian' Hypercall APIs to be Open Source, Microsoft Says

Published: October 31, 2007

by Alex Woodie

Microsoft announced last week that it would deliver key APIs for the Windows Server Virtualization hypervisor it's developing (codenamed "Viridian"), under an open source license. By making the critical "hypercall" APIs available through its Open Specification Promise license, it will ensure a higher level of interoperability with third-party applications and operating systems, including Linux.

The growth in hypervisor usage is changing how software developers work. Instead of writing system calls that act against the kernel of operating systems, developers must also master the task of writing hypercalls to hypervisors to gain privileged access to hardware and low-level resources that were previously managed by operating systems, such as updating page tables.

Microsoft's WSV hypervisor, which is still in development, features a documented hypercall API, just as the XenSource and VMWare hypervisors feature their own hypercall APIs. Microsoft first documented this API over a year ago, when it unveiled Viridian at the WinHEC 2006 conference in Seattle.

By putting the hypercall API for Windows Server Virtualization in the public realm, Microsoft will be fostering a greater level of collaboration among the software development community. In particular, distributing the APIs for free via OSP will boost interoperability with Linux when both Windows and Linux are running on the same server, an increasingly common scenario.

Microsoft lined up some praise from its buddies over at SuSE Linux developer Novell for its hypercall announcement. "Microsoft's decision to put the hypercall API under their Open Specifications Promise will make it even easier for Novell, our customers and partners, and the entire open source community to develop high-quality virtualization solutions that deliver true interoperability between Windows and Linux," said Roger Levy, Novell's senior vice president and general manager of open platform solutions in a press release.

For example, Levy noted, as a result of the Viridian hypercall APIs being available free of charge to any developer, Novell will be able to give its customers everything they need to be able to run a "paravirtualized" version of Windows Server 2008 (codename "Longhorn," which will ship next year) as a guest on the Xen hypervisor (which is available now). Presumably, SuSE Linux Enterprise Server will be running next to Longhorn on that virtualized box, and Xen will keep things running smoothly, like one big happy family.

Praise was also heaped on Microsoft's open source decision by XenSource, the developers of the open source Xen hypervisor, which last year entered into a partnership with Microsoft to help it develop Windows Server Virtualization.

Simon Crosby, CTO of the virtualization and management division at Citrix Systems, which bought XenSource earlier this year, said the availability of Microsoft hypervisor APIs under open source license will "allow us to ensure that virtual machines created on XenServer will be compatible with Microsoft WSV when it is delivered as a component of Windows Server 2008."

Microsoft's plans call for WSV to be released 180 days after the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Server 2008. Both products are currently in the test stage--Windows Server 2008 is currently at the Release Candidate 0 (RCO) stage, while WSV is undergoing its first community technology preview (CTP).

The hypercall APIs will not be the first bit of virtualization technology that Microsoft has licensed under the OSP, which institutes a legally binding agreement that prohibits Microsoft from suing people or organizations adopting a technology it put under the licensing scheme. A year ago Microsoft's Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format became the first technology it chose to license under its then-new OSP. VHD allows customs to easily migrate their data from one virtualization technology to another, and is thus a critical element for avoiding vendor lock-in.


RELATED STORIES

Microsoft Revs Betas of Longhorn, Viridian, Vista SP1

New Test Releases of Windows Server 2008, 'Viridian' Imminent

Microsoft to Distribute VHD Spec Under New OSP License

Microsoft Taps Xen to Help Build Longhorn's Hypervisor

Microsoft Unveils "Viridian" Hypervisor, Extends Virtualization Roadmap



                     Post this story to del.icio.us
               Post this story to Digg
    Post this story to Slashdot


Sponsored By
IT SECURITY

Get Maximum Pain Relief for Your
Windows & Linux Integration!

Directory services play a critical role in ensuring computer networks
are properly secured and efficiently managed.

While Linux machines running in Microsoft Windows networks can
interoperate with Active Directory, configuration is complicated.
This is especially true for administrators lacking Linux expertise.

Download this FREE white paper to learn more.


Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
Contact the Editors: To contact anyone on the IT Jungle Team
Go to our contacts page and send us a message.

Sponsored Links

COMMON:  Join us at the annual 2008 conference, March 30 - April 3, in Nashville, Tennessee
World Data Products:  Free Server Spec Book for the design, installation and maintenance of servers
NowWhatJobs.net:  NowWhatJobs.net is the resource for job transitions after age 40

 

 

IT Jungle Store Top Book Picks

The System i Pocket RPG & RPG IV Guide: List Price, $69.95
The iSeries Pocket Database Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket Developers' Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket SQL Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket Query Guide: List Price, $49.00
The iSeries Pocket WebFacing Primer: List Price, $39.00
Migrating to WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
iSeries Express Web Implementer's Guide: List Price, $59.00
Getting Started with WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries: List Price, $79.95
Getting Started With WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries: List Price, $89.00
Getting Started with WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
WebFacing Application Design and Development Guide: List Price, $55.00
Can the AS/400 Survive IBM?: List Price, $49.00
The All-Everything Machine: List Price, $29.95
Chip Wars: List Price, $29.95


 
The Four Hundred
IBM's Math on User-Priced System i Versus Vintage Machines

Midrange Shops Get Disaster Recovery Services from IBM

Ask TPM: Two System i Questions, and Two Responses

As I See It: Survey Says . . .

The Linux Beacon
Egenera Breaks Blade Software Free from Hardware

Citrix Closes XenSource Deal, Does Deal with Dell and Xen Desktops

Sun Puts Intel Quad-Core Chips into Ultra Workstations

Midrange Shops Get Disaster Recovery Services from IBM

Four Hundred Stuff
Zend Plans Treats, Tricks for System i Programmers

Mantis Bug Tracker Ported to i5/OS

mrc Goes Web 2.0 with m-Power

IBM Updates Disk and Tape, Buys Storage Software Developer

Big Iron
IBM Hit by Financial Services Slowdown in Q3

Top Mainframe Stories From Around the Web

Chats, Webinars, Seminars, Shows, and Other Happenings

Four Hundred Guru
Good Reasons to Use Unrequired Correlation Names

Externally Described Database IO through Data Structures

Admin Alert: The System i High Availability Roadmap

System i PTF Guide
October 27, 2007: Volume 9, Number 43

October 20, 2007: Volume 9, Number 42

October 13, 2007: Volume 9, Number 41

October 6, 2007: Volume 9, Number 40

September 29, 2007: Volume 9, Number 39

September 22, 2007: Volume 9, Number 38

The Unix Guardian
IBM's Power-Based Servers Save the Day in Q3

Sun Puts Intel Quad-Core Chips into Ultra Workstations

Intel Is Back on Track in Q3, AMD Is Fighting to Get There

Mad Dog 21/21: Symphony for the Devil

Four Hundred Monitor
Four Hundred Monitor's
Full iSeries Events Calendar

THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY:

Vision Solutions
Computer Measurement Group
Storage Guardian
IT Security
Vibrant Technologies


Printer Friendly Version


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Microsoft Unveils New 'Oslo' Approach to SOA

Good Times Roll for Microsoft Financially

Microsoft Concedes to EC, Slashes Protocol Pricing

'Viridian' Hypercall APIs to be Open Source, Microsoft Says

But Wait, There's More:

Citrix Closes XenSource Deal, Does Deal with Dell and Xen Desktops . . . VMware's Sales Up 90 Percent in the Third Quarter . . . Iron Mountain Debuts DR Offering for Windows Servers . . . Intel Is Back on Track in Q3, AMD Is Fighting to Get There . . . Gartner Says CIOs Will Be Measured on IT and Business Agility . . . Microsoft Takes $240 Million Stake in Social Networking Site . . .

The Windows Observer

BACK ISSUES





 
Subscription Information:
You can unsubscribe, change your email address, or sign up for any of IT Jungle's free e-newsletters through our Web site at http://www.itjungle.com/sub/subscribe.html.

Copyright © 1996-2008 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Guild Companies, Inc., 50 Park Terrace East, Suite 8F, New York, NY 10034

Privacy Statement