Sun releases source code for xVM hypervisor

Open-source software supports Linux, Windows, Solaris

Sun released the code for its open source server-virtualization software Wednesday, and will make a commercial version of the xVM Server available next month.

xVM Server can virtualize Windows, Linux and Sun's own Solaris operating system on x86 hardware from such vendors as Sun, HP, IBM and Dell, says Steve Wilson, Sun's xVM vice president. Previously, Sun's server-virtualization strategy focused on its own operating system and the Sparc chipset, he says.

"We're moving much more aggressively into server virtualization," Wilson says. "Sun's been doing server virtualization for quite some time, but it's mostly been focused on our own platforms."

xVM Server had been in a limited beta, but now the source code can be downloaded. A commercial offering including support, updates and patches is expected to be available in October for US$500 per physical server, per year.

Sun on Wednesday also is releasing the second version of xVM Ops Center, a management system for both physical and virtual servers. The new version makes it easier to create virtual machines, manage storage and use xVM's live migration feature, which makes it possible to move an application running on a virtual server from one physical device to another, Wilson says. Live migration is available in the open source version of xVM Server, but is easier to manage with Ops Center, he says.

xVM Server is a software product with an embedded Web server, allowing management through a Web browser, according to Wilson. xVM Server is based on the open source Xen hypervisor, but includes technologies taken from Sun's OpenSolaris operating system that make it more scalable, fault-resistant and easy to update, he says.

In making the source code available, Sun is hoping developers will be able to enhance the xVM Server management layer.

Sun has been busy on the virtualization front this month, also releasing a new version of xVM VirtualBox, its desktop virtualization software.

Product releases from numerous vendors are expected next week when VMware's VMworld show kicks off in Las Vegas.

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