BMC Software, Eucalyptus, HP, IBM, Intel, Red Hat and SUSE have partnered to create the Open Virtualization Alliance to promote the adoption of open virtualization technologies such as KVM. What does it mean for you, the VAR? Simply put: exposure.

VARs working with any of the open virtualization standards no doubt have run up against customers who are either wary about open source technology, or just simply don't know about the potential. Promoting awareness about technology is a good way to spread it, and that's what the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) plans on doing.

The consortium will promote examples of customer success, encourage interoperability between technologies, and help expand the ecosystem of third-party support for the adoption of KVM. Examples of business choices, performance and price comparisons for virtualization also will be available. For VARs, MSPs and SMBs, the OVA will offer best practices and technical advice while offering tips on virtualizing Windows applications, since KVM also supports Windows guest OSes. According to the press release, all members of the OVA share a "common interest" in supporting KVM and future development of the technology.

Worth asking: Are any of these companies also hedging their bets elsewhere, or do they truly believe in the KVM solution? It's more probable that the participating companies are simply trying to stave off the proliferation of proprietary VMware installations. Indeed, this isn't the first time we've seen a multi-vendor approach to virtualization -- in the past, we've covered Cisco and BMC's efforts to create a cloud computing initiative and the creation of the  VDI Coalition by Xiotech, Vistro and Pano Logics.

VARs and partners working with KVM potentially could see a boost in their sales, or at the very least, an increase in potential leads through the efforts of the OVA. It will be interesting to see if other vendors take part in the virtualization coalition phenomena, but more importantly, we'll keep an ear open to find out if VARs and MSPs really find a benefit from these growing inter-company partnerships.

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