Oracle to halt development of Sun virtualization technologies

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.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

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.

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.

Related stories:

Editorial standards