Red Hat Open-Sources SPICE Hosted Virtual Desktop Protocol

Red Hat, Inc., a provider of open source solutions, announced that, in an effort to openly collaborate with partners to drive the future of virtualization, it has open sourced its SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment) hosted virtual desktop protocol.

According to Red Hat, 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.

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, communications technology, SPICE aims to provide a user experience for 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 VP, 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." "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 a step toward the goal of interoperability for the industry’s heterogeneous virtualization solutions," said Daniel Frye, VP, Open Systems Development, IBM. "We look forward to working with Red Hat and the open source community to drive virtualization adoption forward." 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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