Sun to herald virtualization plan at Oracle show

The strategy to be described at the OpenWorld conference enables multiple OSes and apps to run on same computer

Sun President/CEO Jonathan Schwartz will focus on Sun's virtualization strategy during a keynote presentation at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Schwartz will emphasize software to run multiple operating systems on the same computer and increase the percentage of compute cycles in use. Specifically, details will be shared on products in Sun's xVM (x Virtual Machine) line, including the xVM Server hypervisor and xVM Ops Center, providing management software, Steve Wilson, vice president of xVM at Sun, said. A hypervisor provides a virtualization layer for running more than one operating system and applications simultaneously, Wilson said.

With its hypervisor, Sun looks to aid users who might have a datacenter full of small servers, each running a separate application and perhaps in use only at a certain time of the day or month, said Wilson. The average utilization of these machines is very low with customers only using 10 percent of available compute cycles.

"The idea is that the xVM Server software, which is the hypervisor software, will allow customers to take various workloads, including applications written to Solaris and Linux and Windows, and run them simultaneously on the same hardware," Wilson said.

Featured in xVM Server is work from the Xen open-source community. Through xVM Server, Sun will extend Solaris technologies, such as Predictive Self-Healing and ZFS (Zettabyte File Server) to Windows and Linux.

Sun previously has offered its Logical Domains (LDOMs) hypervisor, but it only supported SPARC CPUs. The new hypervisor extends to x86/64 systems.

Ops Center enables management of multiple operating systems and the attendant hardware, including systems from Sun, IBM, HP, and Dell.

Sun also plans to announce support of its strategy by vendors, such as Microsoft, MySQL, AMD, and Quest Software. "We have an agreement with Microsoft where they are going to be supporting Windows running inside our hypervisor," Wilson said.

A preview version of xVM Server will be available from the new OpenxVM.org community this week; general release is planned for next spring. The Ops Center product is due for a general release in December.

Also, Schwartz plans to tout the company's efforts in "eco-computing," involving microprocessors, servers, and storage, during his keynote.

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