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Oracle Kills Virtual Iron

What is Oracle up to? This story from The Register says that Oracle is killing development of Virtual Iron products and even suspending shipments of Virtual Iron to new customers.

To catch you up quickly: Oracle announced last month that it was buying SMB virtualization vendor Virtual Iron. Virtual Iron has a small but important role to play in the virtualization community, since it targeted the lower tier of shops. At the time, I wondered how Oracle would work in that market, since it's primarily an enterprise player.

This, of course, was on top of the previous mont's bombshell that Oracle was buying Sun. Oracle got a lot more out of Sun than just virtualization -- Java, MySQL, Solaris and servers come to mind -- but I'm sure Sun's virtualization products, especially its management ones, were an important part of the deal.

Now, it looks like Oracle doesn't want much of what Virtual Iron has. The obvious question: then why buy the company? This is a real kick in the gut for companies that are using Virtual Iron, and understandably nervous about support going forward. It seems like Oracle moved on this really quickly; it's only been a month since the buyout was made public, and they've already decided to mothball Virtual Iron products.

According to the Register article, Oracle isn't even allowing partners to sell new licenses to customers after June 30. So those of you standardized on Virtual Iron will need to move to another solution beginning next month -- Oracle's cutting you loose. I just don't get why Oracle wants to create so much animosity among the Virtual Iron customer base it just bought into.

Oracle has a reputation of arrogance when it comes to virtualization; look at their licensing and support for non-Oracle products if you need a refresher. This latest action surely won't help that perception.

If you have a Virtual Iron implementation, I'd love to hear from you on this topic. Are you angry? Frustrated? Ready to explode? Unfazed?

Posted by Keith Ward on 06/22/2009 at 12:48 PM


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