The last few weeks have been very exciting for the virtualization market. Here are some highlights:
First, the [[http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vienna.html|VMware IPO]] created a lot of waves: amidst [[http://www.businessweek.com/investing/insights/blog/archives/2007/04/vmware_ipo_reve.html|skyrocketing stock prices]] and huge oversubscription, this IPO was right up there with the [[http://www.google-ipo.com/|Google IPO]] in the hype meter. It is being called the year’s [[http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/newstex/IBD-0001-19108530.htm|best IPO]] for a good reason — in relative terms, this IPO was indeed huge, closing at 76% higher than the initial prices at the end of the first day.
The repercussions of all this money influx can already be seen. Silicon valley has been haunted the last few years by Google’s hiring spree: for a long time it seemed like the default destination of anyone smart in the bay area looking for a job was Google. They hired good people, and they paid well. It was scaring a lot of the big players in the market. Well, now it seems that VMware has [[http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/328375_vmwaregoogle21.html|joined the club]], with jobs paying [[http://weblog.infoworld.com/virtualization/archives/2007/08/sorry_google_vm.html?source=rss|between 130-160K]]. Phew!
A day after VMware’s IPO, software giant [[http://citrix.com|Citrix]] announced its acquisition of [[http://xensource.com|XenSource]] (see [[http://www.citrix.com/lang/English/lp/lp_680809.asp?ntref=hp_promo1_US|press release]]). Needless to say, the timing of these events was unlikely to be completely co-incidental. Surprisingly, the Xen community has been awfully quiet about the deal — the development mailing lists barely touched upon the subject. I’m not sure if thats good or bad, only time will tell.
Meanwhile, in a series of recent [[http://udrepper.livejournal.com/15795.html|posts]], the GNU libc maintainer, [[http://people.redhat.com/drepper/|Ulrich Drepper]] has [[http://udrepper.livejournal.com/17577.html|criticized the hypervisor approach]] taken by both Xen and VMware, and instead thinks the KVM approach is a much feasible route to efficient virtualization. More on this later.