Sun ships management piece of xVM strategy

xVM Ops Center will be compatible with Linux and Solaris-based x86 and SPARC environments

Sun is shipping xVM Ops Center, a data center automation console compatible with Linux- and Solaris-based x86 and SPARC environments.

Ops Center's features include automatic installation of firmware and bare-metal operating systems; scanning and tracking of servers in a network; and patch-management tools for SUSE, Red Hat and Solaris, according to a company statement.

James Staten, an analyst with Forrester Research, said the last feature is particularly compelling, but not enough to attract a great deal of new business to Sun's platform.

"The patching mechanism they have is very impressive and works with both Linux and Solaris, but given that this is a 1.0 product the appeal will remain mainly with existing Sun customers," he said via e-mail Friday.

"It's a substantially better entry in systems management than their previous attempts, and much more open," he added.

The Ops Center codebase has already been released under the open-source GPLv3 license and is available at

Sun previously said the first commercial version of Ops Center would be available on Jan. 8.

Oren Teich, director of product management and marketing for xVM, said the company needed additional time to make some final tweaks and improvements in areas including firmware provisioning and reporting, following requests from early beta users.

He disagreed with the notion that mainly existing Sun customers will buy the software, saying the company expects that sales will be split between current and new users. While it is a 1.0 release, code from two existing Sun products, N1 System Manager and Sun Connection, are running under the hood of Ops Center's GUI, he said. "In some ways, this is a very mature project."

Yet the first version has a key omission: support for Windows. "Although Windows support is not currently available, we're committed to offering it in the future," Teich said.

Sun is also developing xVM Server, a bare-metal, Xen-based hypervisor with support for Linux, Solaris and Windows guest operating systems.

While Sun's xVM brand stands for "the intersection of virtualization and management," according to Teich, the Ops Center 1.0 release does not feature a broad range of functionality around virtualization. This summer, Sun will release its hypervisor product and "an update to Ops Center that will have a lot of virtualization capabilities on top of it," Teich said.

The company will battle along with leader VMware, Oracle, Microsoft and an array of other vendors for a stake in the virtualization space, which analysts have pegged as remaining wide-open despite the voluminous hype around the topic in recent years.

With Ops Center, Sun will go up against IT management powerhouses such as HP and IBM.

Subscription pricing for Ops Center, with support and network-delivered services, ranges between US$100 and $350 per managed server per year.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?