Oracle to halt development of Sun virtualization technologies

Oracle to halt development of Sun virtualization technologies

Summary: Oracle will soon be announcing that it's discontinuing development of its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Sun Ray software and hardware, and Oracle Virtual Desktop Client product lines.

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Oracle has decided to stop development on its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Sun Ray Software and Hardware, and Oracle Virtual Desktop Client product lines. Some Oracle partners, which received the news over the weekend, are not happy with this change.

Oracle-Virtual-Desktop
Say goodbye to any more development for Oracle's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Sun Ray, and Virtual Desktop Client.

In a document detailing the support policies for this virtualization software and hardware (Link requires Oracle support account), Oracle said, "In an effort to more tightly align Oracle's future desktop virtualization portfolio investments with Oracle Corporation's overall core business strategy, we have ended new feature development for Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software, Oracle Virtual Desktop Client (OVDC) Software, Oracle Sun Ray Software (SRS), and Oracle Sun Ray Client hardware (including Sun Ray Operating Software)."

These products enable customers to manage, deploy, and provide users with access to server-hosted desktop operating systems on nearly any client device. They were picked up by Oracle as part of its 2009 acquisition of Sun.

In the same document, Oracle said, "Going forward, Oracle's desktop portfolio investments will be focused on continued development and new enhancements to both Oracle Secure Global Desktop and Oracle VM VirtualBox software." Secure Global Desktop is another server-based VDI program, and VirtualBox is a popular desktop virtualization program.

Oracle partners don't care for this move. According to one disgruntled partner, Oracle could have handled this change better. "Announcing the death of yet another product via a hard-to-find support document ... I would have appreciated a more honest and open approach."

In addition, the partner expressed unhappiness about how Oracle had handled this virtualization line since Oracle's takeover of Sun. "Despite being the owner of Oracle VDI, Sun Ray, and Oracle VM, Oracle refused to integrate those three. So up to this day you cannot use Oracle VM as a hypervisor. You can use Hyper-V, you can use VMware, you can use that special version of VirtualBox that shipped with Oracle VDI ... but Oracle VM? Nope. How ridiculous is that??"

Still, he added, "The idea behind Oracle VDI and Sun Ray is excellent: You have a device on your desk without any mechanical parts and MBTF [mean time between failure] is around 22 years ... All you need now is plenty of servers with enough CPU cores, RAM, enough disks for IOPS [input/output operations per second] and storage space ... and all your desktops live there, centrally in the server room."

Another Oracle partner said, "This is very disappointing and troubling for the healthcare and banking verticals, which has heavily invested and integrated Sun Ray desktops for its security and mobility."

For the time being, Oracle will continue to support the existing software and hardware and renew licenses.

"We would like to assure new and existing customers that technical support for these products will continue uninterrupted as they are today. Customers may also continue to renew existing support contracts or purchase new licenses. Exact time-frames for a last order date for Oracle Sun Ray client devices will be announced shortly."

Still, this is a blow for Oracle system integrators, value-added resellers (VARs), and any enterprise that had committed to this VDI stack.

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Topics: Virtualization, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Open Source, Oracle, Servers

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21 comments
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  • Java is going to be the only remnant

    Of Sun's legacy at this rate.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
    • Big, bad Oracle

      Had IBM chosen to go forward with their considered acquisition of Sun, how much better would Sun's legacy have fared?
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • IBM & Sun

        > Had IBM chosen to go forward with their considered acquisition of Sun,
        > how much better would Sun's legacy have fared?

        You would have seen wide-scale cancelations of products, support & development moved to countries where they can barely operate a keyboard and mouse, the remaining products would have been poorly shoehorned into product lines where they had no business being, and the remnants of Sun would be mired down & suffocated under mountains of meaningless bureaucratic bulls**t. Not much better than where they are now, and likely worse.
        jelabarre
        • Re: You would have seen wide-scale cancelations of products

          You mean that hasn't happened??
          ldo17
      • Oracle to halt development ...

        "Had IBM chosen to go forward with their considered acquisition of Sun, how much better would Sun's legacy have fared?"
        My guess, same as Lotus ...
        kc63092@...
    • Re: Java is going to be the only remnant

      That seemed to be the only thing Oracle wanted.
      ldo17
      • Dalvik

        Larry wanted to get billions from Google for Dalvik. Solaris will live as an in-house OS for DB servers, while Java will be harder to kill.
        JonSawyer
    • Not to forget ZFS

      Although, because of the open source community, ZFS lives a new (exciting) life outside of Oracle. I hope VirtualBox has similar fate.
      danbi
      • Oracle likes VirtualBox

        Quoted in the article:
        "Going forward, Oracle's desktop portfolio investments will be focused on continued development and new enhancements to both Oracle Secure Global Desktop and Oracle VM VirtualBox software."

        Virtualbox is also a great tool for Java developers, allowing for multiple servers and desktops on a single PC. Oracle likes Netbeans too. :)

        However, both Virtualbox (via Innotek GmbH) and Netbeans were Sun acquisitions and are not what I consider to be Sun's legacy like Solaris, SPARC and Java. Here's a list of Sun acquisitions:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Microsystems#Sun_acquisitions
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • This is both expected and long overdue so no one should be surprised

    least of all partners who have been closest to this death spiral. And sun hardware customers are right there with them. We've been telling them ever since the merger was done that they shouldn't anticipate anything from the sun era being available for more than a year.
    Johnny Vegas
    • @ Johnny Vegas

      It is actually longer than expected.

      I actually thought that all of Sun Sparc based Fire servers and the last line of workstations will die away completely by 2009. The workstation of Sun Ultras ended in 2010 while the Sun Blades ended way before the acquisition. The Server series Sun Fire ended last year too. This leaves the X86 based Sun Server X series. I think this will end soon too leaving no Sun lineage based hardware servers from Oracle.

      In fact, expect for Exadata and Exalogic machines, it is difficult to see Oracle marketing any Sun hardware. Even these converged infrastructure machines will not last long contrary to Mark Hurd's expectations.
      calahan
    • But this product was selling well!

      Actually, this is surprising. The product was selling well in some sectors (banks, health care, government) and there was a lot of development and new releases not too long ago.
      Drazenko Djuricic
  • they were crap tech anyways

    because they were used mostly to run windoze.
    maybe M$ should buy them for $1 since they are the only ones that cared about them.
    that would make Eli$$on happy for "making a buck" from the sun deal.
    The Linux Geek
    • Not true!

      No idea what Sun Ray implementations you have seen, but your assertion is definitely incorrect. I've had plenty of customers who used them with Linux (via Oracle VDI) and some even with OpenSolaris. Sun Ray was the "Linux friendliest" solution out there, everything else such as Citrix and VMware View (or whatever it is called right now) is 100% Windoze. And in the latest iterations of the product even Linux was given the possibility of USB and audio forwarding (and not just Windows). Maybe you should gain more experience before you name a product you know nothing about "crap" ??
      Drazenko Djuricic
  • A disadvantage of closed source software

    This is one of the disadvantages of closed source software. Basically, it's possible for the rug to be pulled out from under one of your applications/solutions at any given time.

    Of course it's still possible for development of an open source project to die off. It's just much less likely for a project that garners a large amount of interest. Even the projects that do die off can be resurrected. That's very difficult with a closed source piece of software.

    I want to be clear that I'm not saying that there are no advantages to closed source software. This is just one of the disadvantages.
    CFWhitman
  • Ocacle can't manage huge portfolio of products!

    Desktop virtualization is hot with Citrix and NVidia. Why can't Oracle make it? Oracle purchased so many companies and now has so many products that it can't manage so many different products. Why can't they sell this line of product?
    cp10000
  • No room....

    .....at the Apple and Microsoft Inn.

    A brave new world.
    albionstreet
  • Does this mean...

    they are probably going to entirely do away with Solaris soon?
    dtdono0
    • Re:does this mean ...

      Based on the public positions of Oracle, namely they are pouring billions into the R&D of SPARC and Solaris, as well as Larry's statements, one would come to the conclusion that it will be around for a good long while.
      Komradebob
  • Somewhere...

    ...Paul Murphy, long-time Sun Ray booster and former ZDNet commentator is in mourning.
    John L. Ries