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Linux Containers: Article

Linux Virtualization and Tired Open Source Myths

The more things change, the more they stay the same

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That is certainly true of anti-open source virtualization FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Linux virtualization is robust and enterprise-worthy, and is evolving rapidly. It is a threat to the established giants of virtualization.

And, so the same old FUD is spread around: Open source virtualization software is free, like a free puppy. It's unpolished and lacking important features. It's communists and hippies. It is only for elite hackers who can code in a dozen languages and who love the command line. Linux virtualization admins are expensive and scarce. Licenses are complex, scary, and viral, and will infect all of your code and force you to give it away.

It's all nonsense, and tired recycled nonsense at that. Companies who boast of their innovation should innovate better FUD. Open source virtualization has been around for a long time, it's tested, and the whole open source stack is rock-solid.

One of the most persistent myths is that open source virtualization requires elite scripting skills. This is very much not true, for example ConVirt offers a complete, polished product with a sophisticated graphical management interface. This supports batch operations, automation, monitoring, migrations, storage management, network management-- it should meet the needs of 99% of admins who will never need to touch the command line.

Open source virtualization goes hand-in-hand with open standards and freedom from vendor lock-in. Data portability is everything - when you can easily move your data then you have real leverage, and vendors have to compete for your business. Commoditized virtualization is still young, and it will take several years for standards to be agreed on and established. As an open source company, Convirture puts customers and solving their problems first, and so we are members of the OpenStack Initiative, which is a global collaboration of over 130 businesses developing an open source cloud computing platform. The speed of iteration in open source is many times faster than closed-source proprietary software, so fixes and improvements are rolled out rapidly. Whatever the future brings, we won't be invested in protecting a software product, but will be able to adapt quickly and meet our customers' needs.

More Stories By Arsalan Farooq

Arsalan Farooq is CEO and Founder of Convirture. He brings over 15 years of systems management experience to his role as the CEO. Previously, he was the founding Director of the Application Service Level Management (ASLM) division at Oracle, where he was responsible for all aspects of market strategy and product development. Under his leadership, ASLM grew from a two person engineering team into a high-performance, multi-national organization spearheading Oracle's entry into the Applications Management space.

Prior to founding ASLM, Arsalan held various management roles at Oracle, where he helped deliver multiple generations of the Oracle Enterprise Manager product suite. he started his career as a multimedia software designer at Knowledge Adventure and as the founder of his own technology consultancy firm while still in college.

Arsalan holds degrees in Theoretical Physics and Computer Science from Reed College and Caltech, respectively.

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