Oracle's Virtual Iron Buyout Will Provide Essential VM Tool Set

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-05-13 Print this article Print

Oracle has a number of reasons to want to own a mature virtualization tool set, and acquiring Virtual Iron contributes to that goal. To become the full-service IT infrastructure company it envisions, Oracle needs more control of virtualized software and hardware for all its deployments. Oracle doesn't want to keep paying a so-called virtualization tax to third-party providers such as VMware.

Oracle, a company with its own permanent mergers and acquisitions office, is adding an important ingredient to its product catalog in a quest to become the newest all-purpose IT systems company: a new-generation tool box that will administer both Windows and Linux virtualization deployments.

When it closes a deal to acquire Virtual Iron announced May 13, Oracle will join EMC (owner of VMware), Microsoft (Hyper-V), Citrix Systems (XenServer) and Sun Microsystems (Sun Containers, xVM Ops Center and VirtualBox software) as one of the only IT systems providers that own server virtualization products.

After the summer of 2009, that number of companies will shrink by one, because Sun also will have become property of Oracle in the widely reported $7.4 billion acquisition deal announced April 20.

VMware products are installed on about 85 percent of all enterprise IT systems, with the others all claiming much smaller pieces of the virtualization pie.

Oracle has a number of reasons to want to own a mature virtualization tool set.

First, to become the full-service IT infrastructure company it envisions, it needs more control of virtualized software and hardware for all its deployments. Oracle doesn't want to keep paying a "virtualization tax" to third-party providers like VMware or any other company.

Secondly, Oracle needs a more complete set of tools for its home-developed Xen-based hypervisor, Oracle VM. It's not an accident that Virtual Iron's platform also is Xen-based, built on open-source code. Oracle's virtual machine controls currently do not have management features as good as Virtual Iron's LivePower, which offers much greater control of server power consumption. So the acquisition also is a green IT move for Oracle.

Oracle intends to bundle Virtual Iron's tools with its own VM layer to give users a full-stack management console for both virtual and physical systems. Virtual Iron also features better capacity utilization and virtual server configuration tools than Oracle offers today.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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