There's a lot a wheeling and dealing in the virtualization software market right now -- but not quite as much as some would have you believe.
In the "real news" department, longtime Linux vendor Red Hat
I'm using that company's main product, KVM, to run a virtualized media server in my bedroom closet, and can attest to the stability and versatility of this virtual machine solution. What KVM doesn't have today is a user-friendly interface. Five years of Unix system admin experience helped me get over a series of snags with setting this machine up, and a lesser geek might have given up or switched to a simpler hypervisor.
Under Red Hat's corporate wing, I'd expect KVM to gussy up with some graphical bells and whistles. For the fedora-sporting company, the attraction in Qumranet lies in controlling a serious virtualization platform of its own rather than relying on XenSource like many others do. Citrix Systems
Then there's the rumor mill, where Cisco
Yes, the networking giant likes to grow by acquisition, like when it bought set-top box maker Scientific-Atlanta in 2005 or consumer networking specialist Linksys in 2003. But Linksys cost $500 million and Scientific-Atlanta $7 billion. VMware's enterprise value today, after a string of competitive challenges and tough-to-swallow news, is around $12.7 billion, before adding the customary 30% or so acquisition premium. That's much bigger than the small-to-medium bites Cisco likes to take.
No, I'm sure that Chambers would look elsewhere. Maybe he's thinking about virtualizing his enterprise-class routers and switches, which would be a unique feature that makes Cisco's hardware more manageable and flexible than competing products from Juniper
In the first case, Cisco could pick up an existing privately held or community-supported virtualization expert like Open Kernel Labs or Trango Virtual Processors, both of which know how to handle the sort of microprocessors you're likely to find inside a large network switch or router. But don't expect Cisco to go out and buy something big you might already have invested in. And in the second case, I don't think that anybody is better positioned than Cisco itself to come up with an internal engineering solution to that very specific problem.