Vol 71 Issue 1 2004-01-05 Article 11920 from section "Software"

Virtualization Interoperability with Third-party Solutions is the Goal

Martin LaMonica recently wrote a piece for zdnet on the implications for
virtualization of N1[TM] utility software. LaMonica reports on Sun's
efforts to create a software development kit (SDK) that will enable
various technology providers to share information with N1
software-managed systems. The solution is expected to be ready for
release in a year to 18 months.

Like solutions from HP, IBM, VERITAS and EMC, Sun N1 software enables
users to regard a pool of IT solutions as a single resource in what is
called a "virtualization" capability among utility computing
initiatives. Virtualization allows businesses to optimize their hardware
investments, using policies for pooling and provisioning data center
resources to accommodate spikes in demand.

According to Hal Stern, Sun CTO for services, the company's goal is to
use the N1 SDK to develop a virtualization solution that is
interoperable with the hardware and management software that are already
part of a customer's IT infrastructure. Sun plans to publish the
connection points to N1 software so that third-party system management
products can share system performance information with the N1 software

While both HP and IBM have adapted proprietary solutions to work with
virtualization and grid software, the industry sees a solution to the
problem of interoperability as far off as five years in the future.

"The whole issues of standardization or interoperability, which is what
an SDK is all about, are really touchy issues in virtualization right
now," Eunice said. "These problems will remain unresolved for the next
two or three years, and we could be talking five or six years. That
could delay implementations" at customers.

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