Sun, Microsoft Come to Common Ground on Virtualization

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-09-08 Print this article Print

Sun and Microsoft announce new cross-platform virtualization initiatives that validate Sun's new xVM virtualization platform to run on Windows servers 2008, 2003 and 2000. Microsoft and Sun also announced that they are currently engineering compatibilities for Sun's Solaris operating system to run as a certified guest on Windows Server on Microsoft's Hyper-V.

Sun Microsystems and its longtime top-tier rival, Microsoft, continue to come to technological common ground that would have been impossible to imagine just two years ago.

At a daylong launch event in Bellevue, Wash., Sun and Microsoft announced new cross-platform virtualization initiatives Sept. 8 that validate Sun's new xVM virtualization platform to run on Windows servers 2008, 2003 and 2000.

Sun and Microsoft also are in the process of engineering compatibilities for Sun's Solaris operating system to run as a certified guest on Windows Server on Microsoft's Hyper-V, which is scheduled to be available with the Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2. Microsoft has not published a release date for this new service pack.

Finally, Sun is expanding its support for Microsoft enterprise software by providing Sun Ray thin-client customers the ability to access Windows as a guest operating system running on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.

Sun Microsystems last week released a new version of xVM VirtualBox, its open source desktop virtualization hypervisor, that competes in many of the same spaces as VMware's ESX, Citrix's Xen Server -- and even Microsoft's own Hyper V -- hypervisor.

"You can install and run several different operating systems on xVM," Steve Wilson, Sun's vice president of xVM, told me. "So it's very competitive with other hypervisors.
"We are now committed to offering interoperability with Microsoft's products, so that our mutual customers can run their choice of operating systems on any virtualization platform on Windows-compatible x64 servers from Sun," Wilson said.

Using this new interoperability, Sun Ray thin-client users will be able to run Hyper-V to host desktops originating on Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows XP Professional and display these desktops on Sun Ray thin-client devices over the network.

Later this fall, the Microsoft and Sun will integrate Sun xVM Ops Center with Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager 2007, which will give enterprises the ability to update and manage Windows guest operating systems.

Using this capability, Sun server users will be able to run a single framework to manage their choice of operating systems from Solaris and Windows to Linux as well as monitor physical and virtual environments.

Sun is making key pieces of its virtualization software available for free download now via the new community.

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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