Ubuntu's 7.04 release, commonly known as Feisty Fawn, is definitely an exciting new virtualization software, particularly on the desktop. Many have commented that it is the company's best release yet. Others will tell you that it is the simplest Linux distribution to install. Furthermore, Ubuntu released it with the virtualization innovation that many wished Red Hat or SUSE would have come up with: Paravirt-ops and KVM.
Paravirt-ops uses a paravirtualization interface for the Linux kernel. This enables multiple hypervisors to link directly into Linux. KVM allows Linux to let other operating system come in as guests.
How will this innovation effect VARs? I would say the story has yet to be told. Clearly, Red Hat and SUSE have the majority of enterprise users who would use value-added resellers (VARs) to help them with their virtualization implementations. Xen is also an established product and both of the leading Linux distribution companies are committed to it. Certainly, if I'm a VAR specializing in Linux virtualization solutions, I would start to look at the product. I would not bet the farm on Ubuntu just yet; clearly, the market is big enough to support different types of virtualization software and we don't need to elect any particular one the King. I will say that Red Hat and SUSE should look at how Ubuntu packages their product and learn how to make their own distributions easier to install and configure.
This was first published in May 2007