At Oracle OpenWorld Rich Green, executive vice president of software at Sun, unveiled his company's latest twist on virtualization--the Sun xVM platform. Sun xVM is based on the Xen hypervisor and supports Windows, Linux and Solaris guest operating systems, Green said. Sun's is bringing many of its assets to the virtualization platform, including access to Solaris 10 features, such as ZFS and Predictive Self-healing (FMA).
Sun is also collaborating with Red Hat and Microsoft to provide bilateral support for their different virtualization platforms.
In the context of virtualization technologies from VMware, Oracle, Red Hat, Citrix, Microsoft and others, Green said that users will have multiple choices with different optimization points. "Our focus is on getting the maximum power to guest operating systems, and we are fully agnostic and open," he said. He said that the leader in x86 virtualization, VMware, has only 9 percent share of market, which indicates that virtualization is more at the beginning of its lifecyle.
During a press conference following his Oracle OpenWorld keynote, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz outlined what he considered to be the advantages of xVM over competitors. First is the business model--xVM is freely distributed and available, he said. In addition, core open source Solaris technologies--ZFS, FMA, Crossbow and DTrace--are available in a hypervisor.
Steve Wilson, vice president of xVM at Sun, demoed Sun xVM Ops Center, which he said allows customers with typical Windows administrator skill to have a lot more control over their data center. Wilson said the management console was designed with user interface concepts form services like iTunes and Facebook. "You can invite other administrators to get control," he said as a way to justify the thin social networking connection (see below).
xVM Ops Center will be available under the GPL v3 license, Green said. "We made a bold move with Java with GPL v2. We will continue to advance in lock-step with the GPL community," he said.
Sun will make its money by providing support subscription to companies that don't want to unsupported free software, said Schwartz.
Sun launched www.openxvm.org, an open source community for building next-generation datacenter virtualization and management technologies. "Our engagement with the community is in every way part of the company," Schwartz said.