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News Item

Red Hat SPICE to Drive Desktop Virtualization

It opens "Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment" hosted virtual desktop protocol

SPICE Session at Cloud Expo

Cloud Computing Expo - Red Hat, in an effort to openly collaborate with partners to drive the future of virtualization, has open sourced its SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment) hosted virtual desktop protocol. SPICE is a core component of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops product that is currently in beta. Through the Spice project, Red Hat will collaborate with its partners and the open source community to expand the development of the protocol in an effort to help break down barriers to virtualization adoption.

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A component of Red Hat's September 2008 acquisition of Qumranet, SPICE is an adaptive remote rendering protocol designed specifically for virtual environments. With its modern, high-performance communications technology, SPICE aims to provide a seamless user experience for today's bandwidth-intensive applications such as multi-media and VoIP, offering a user experience comparable to that of a physical desktop.

“By open sourcing this technology, we are allowing our industry partners and the community to contribute to the future of virtualization with us,” said Brian Stevens, CTO and vice president, Engineering at Red Hat. “The SPICE protocol is designed to optimize performance by automatically adapting to the graphics and communications environment that it is running in, so vendors have a terrific opportunity to enhance it for their specific applications. Open sourcing technologies is at the heart of Red Hat's development and business model, and we hope that the ecosystem around desktop virtualization will now grow more rapidly and deliver more innovation to customers sooner.”

“While open sourcing acquired technologies is only logical for Red Hat, the company is backing its release of the SPICE protocol source code as open source with supporting implementation code and components for server and client deployment,” said Jay Lyman, enterprise software analyst with The 451 Group. “We're still very early on in the adoption of virtual desktop technology and standards, but an open source SPICE has real potential to build developer and ecosystem support and to serve as a common layer among different VDI options.”

“Red Hat's delivery of the open source SPICE protocol is an important step toward the goal of interoperability for the industry's heterogeneous virtualization solutions,” said Daniel Frye, vice president, Open Systems Development, IBM. “We look forward to working with Red Hat and the open source community to drive virtualization adoption forward.”

“Devon IT is at the forefront of delivering multimedia through thin client solutions and is a strong supporter of the SPICE protocol using our thin clients,” said Joe Makoid, president, Devon IT. “Open sourcing paves the way for an industry standard upon which Devon IT can help customers build valuable solutions. Devon IT is pleased to offer our leadership to help enable open source solutions that integrate into customers' existing environments.”

SPICE is one of three main technology components included in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops, a solution set currently in a private beta with general availability expected in 2010.

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