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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft: Hypercall API extended to Open Specification Promise

Microsoft: Hypercall API extended to Open Specification Promise

Yesterday Microsoft announced it will extend the Open Specification Promise (OSP) to its Hypervisor Functional Specification within Windows Server virtualization.  The final version of the specification will be made available at the RTM milestone of Windows Server virtualization currently targeted at 180 days from the RTM of Windows Server 2008 in Q1 2008.

Jeff Woolsey explains the importance of the announcement to Microsoft and its Partners:

The hypercall API enables partners to develop solutions with Windows Server virtualization allowing customers to achieve dynamic IT environments.   These APIs are available for use by any organization seeking to integrate or extend their software with Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server virtualization.

Roger Levy, Sr VP and GM of Open Platform Solutions at Novell added:

The majority of our customers have mixed-source environments, and they want their platform vendors to make things work together....  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.

The CTO of Citrix's Virtualization and Management Division, Simon Crosby, committed to the delivery of value-added virtualization solutions for the Windows platform:

This is made possible by Microsoft's  open and progressive approach to licensing key technologies such as its VHD image format and the Windows Server Virtualization hypercall API.  This 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.

Due to the extension of the OSP to Microsoft's hypervisor API, any individual or organization is free to sell, use implement and/or modify Microsoft’s virtualization format technology without penalty or license.   

With analysts claiming only 9% of current new server shipments use virtualization, are we dealing with a hype wave about its importance?

Or is virtualization a technology who's time is almost here and open vendor collaboration announcements like this one from Microsoft are tell-tale signs it is a technology wave beginning to crest?

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