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10 December 2009, 18:35

Red Hat open sources Qumranet SPICE protocol

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Red Hat has released its SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment) virtualisation protocol as open source. SPICE is an alternative to Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and other remote display protocols, such as Citrix's Independent Computing Architecture (ICA). Benefits of SPICE include enhanced multimedia capabilities and dynamic load balancing between servers and (display) clients. Brian Stevens, CTO and vice president, Engineering at Red Hat said "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,".

SPICE was originally developed by Qumranet, the company behind SolidICE which provides a kernel based virtual machine based around the open source KVM project. Qumranet was acquired by Red Hat in November of last year. Currently, SPICE can be used with KVM on 64-bit Linux servers to transfer virtualised Windows XP, Windows 7 and RHEL desktops.

More details about the SPICE Project, including documentation, support and downloads, can be found on its new web site. According to Red Hat, most of the SPICE sources are licensed under version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2), but some exceptions are released under LGPL or BSD style licenses.

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