Enter the Appliance

Today’s announcement of an expanded VMware / Novell partnership was interesting in many ways… the licensing aspect, the support aspect …but none moreso (for me at least) than the virtual appliance aspect. In case you missed that part, VMware will be adopting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SLES, as the single platform for their virtual appliances. Whether you agree with the platform choice or not (fortunately the company I work for has been a SLES shop from day one), sometimes it’s more important that there actually is a standard, rather than what the standard is. This is one of those times.

I’ve ranted in the past about the problem with virtual appliances. Everything from the lack of a standard Linux platform even within a single vendor (let alone amongst multiple vendors), to the additional overhead such a model of software distribution would place upon software vendors, to the security needs of the Enterprise around patch response times etc. And today, every single one of those arguments has been nullified in one fell swoop. Hallelujah, someone was listening after all!

If you’re a software vendor looking to adopt the virtual appliance model to distribute your wares then I have some advice for you – if you’re not using SLES for the base of your appliance, start doing so. Now. This partnership will mean doors that were previously closed to virtual appliances will now be opened, but not to any old virtual appliance – it will need to be built on an Enterprise grade distro. And SLES is most certainly that.

You all know I’m not one to drink the Kool-Aid, but it’s things like this that really show the leadership VMware has over the rest. My hat is officially tipped to whoever brokered this deal, it’s exactly what was needed.

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3 Responses to “Enter the Appliance”

  1. Tweets that mention Enter the Appliance -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Christofer Hoff, Eric Sloof, Rob Upham, Chris Wolf, Hyper9 and others. Hyper9 said: RT @vinternals: New Post – Enter the Appliance http://tinyurl.com/2v3g6cu < Point well made. […]

  2. Dick Davies Says:

    The custom distro tools in SLES are certainly interesting, but last time I looked Novell were circling the drain as a business. Not sure it’s wise to leap in and convert your Linux boxes just yet 🙂

  3. All For One, One For All? On Standardizing Virtual Appliance Operating Systems | Rational Survivability Says:

    […] Hot on the tail of the announcement that VMware and Novell are entering into a deeper “strategic partnership” in order to deliver and support SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for VMware vSphere environments, was an interesting blog post from Stu (@vinternals) titled “Enter the Appliance.” […]

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