Sun joins virtualisation fray with xVM

Sun's Jonathan Schwartz unveils the company's new virtualisation product line

Sun Microsystems CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, unveiled the company's virtualisation product line, xVM, at Oracle's OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

XVM consists of two components: xVM Server, a hypervisor with support for Linux, Solaris and Windows guest operating systems; and xVM Ops Center, a management console. The Ops Center project will be released under the open source GPLv3 license, and Sun has set up a community site at [www.openxVM.org].

"Our engagement with the community is not something we take lightly," Schwartz said. "It is in every way the foundation of our company."

The news comes just days after Oracle unveiled its own virtualisation product, Oracle VM, which like xVM Server, is based on the open source Xen hypervisor project. Both companies join a crowded market dominated by leader VMWare.

Sun said it intends to put $US2 billion behind its vXM push. Ops Center, which is expected to be available next month, has already been validated to run on 1000 system configurations, according to Sun.

Sun's vice-president of software, Rich Green, took the stage to discuss xVM's features in greater depth. He said the industry-wide drive toward virtualising data centers has resulted in new challenges. "You have these consolidated systems where headroom has been dramatically reduced," he said. "That's a byproduct of server consolidation."

Enterprises with heavily virtualised environments are also dealing with "server sprawl," according to Green. "You have this sprawling nature of things to manage, a complexity greater than what you had before," he said.

He characterised Ops Center as "a complete suite of datacentre automation technology" with an interface easy for less-skilled users to work with. "Not everyone is a hardcore UNIX admin," Sun's Steve Wilson, who demoed Ops Center for the crowd, said.

XVM Server can be used to host all three major operating systems: Windows, Solaris and Linux. It also will provide access to features like ZFS and Predictive Self-Healing. "We've raised the bar technically on what a hypervisor can be," Green said in an interview following the keynote. The product is set for a spring 2008 release.

Like its other offerings, the software will be free, with Sun making money through support services. "Most people applying virtualisation in the data center are not going to do it unsupported," Green said.

Forrester Research principal analyst, James Staten, said Sun's announcement reflects the general drive to build virtualisation offerings on top of the Xen project. "There hasn't really been a leader emerging around Xen yet," he said, adding that while one could point to Citrix, there remains a lot of room in the market.

"What's unique about Sun is that they're marrying it to Solaris," Staten said, describing Sun's platform as well-used to running on massively parallelized systems. That could be "a huge advantage" for Sun as the industry increasingly moves to adopt multicore hardware, Staten said.

Sun said a broad array of companies has endorsed xVM, including AMD, Intel, mySQL, Symantec, Quest Software and Red Hat.

Also Wednesday, Dell CEO, Michael Dell, joined Schwartz onstage to announce the company has agreed to a deal to distribute Sun's Solaris 10 operating system on its PowerEdge servers. "I'd like to believe Dell is going to have a much different conversation now with the Solaris installed base," Schwartz said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?