Mental Ward

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Here Comes the Sun?

There's so much happening in virtualization these days that it's easy for stuff to slip through the cracks. New hypervisors, for instance, are still coming out. But, to my shock, one long-promised hypervisor is still waiting for its grand entrance: Sun xVM Server.

I didn't even realize this until yesterday, when I was doing research for an unrelated story. I guess I simply assumed that such a fundamental part -- the fundamental part -- of any vendor's virtualization strategy would be one of the first products released. But my assumption was wrong.

Sun has xVM Ops Center 2.0 out, and they're at VDI 3.0, having fully integrated VirtualBox. But no base hypervisor. Am I the only one who thinks that's weird?

I know xVM is on the drawing board, and should be out soon; the problem is that Sun has been promising that for a long time now. When does soon become "it's here!"? Check out Sun's "xVM Central" blog, for instance: lots of news about Ops Center and VDI -- but nothing but the sound of grass growing when it comes to xVM.

It's hard to imagine Sun has given up on xVM, and decided that there are enough hypervisor choices out there that one more would simply be white noise. If that's the case, they should tell us. If that's not the case, they should be giving some kind of real update on xVM availability. Maybe the recession has forced development priorities elsewhere.

Whatever the reason, every day that Sun drags its feet on releasing xVM is another day that it falls further and further behind aggressive virtualization companies like VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and, now, Red Hat. The pity here is that I've always liked Sun's virtualization approach and vision in this space; like IBM and only a few other companies, it can offer end-to-end, hardware-to software virtualization. I guess we'll know soon enough how serious Sun is about slugging it out in this virtual ring.

Posted by Keith Ward on 03/03/2009 at 12:48 PM


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