Plans for the xVM Hypervisor
Novell and Red Hat have already baked the Xen hypervisor into their shipping products, while Microsoft will release Hyper-V later this year. Sun's solution is the Sun xVM Server. What are your plans for that hypervisor--for example, what platform and hardware will support it?
Previews of the Sun xVM hypervisor are available for download today. Our first commercial release is slated for the second quarter of calendar year 2008, with support for x86 servers from IBM, Dell, HP and Sun. The second release will include an additional distribution targeted at Sun's SPARC servers using CoolThreads technology, such as Niagara and Niagara 2.What differentiates xVM Server from the Xen hypervisor and Hyper-V, and how will this benefit customers? Because Sun xVM Server uses the hypervisor code from the Xen community, we can take advantage of all the optimizations that partners like Intel and AMD make to the code base, as well as the advanced features available in the most recent code, such as live migration. We are also adding a number of advanced operating systems features from Solaris to the control domain, which Xen technology refers to as Dom0. These features-such as dynamic self-healing, advanced I/O virtualization and management, and ZFS-give Sun xVM Server a set of highly unique attributes. How does the technology you acquired from Innotek fit into Sun's virtualization strategy, and how do you plan to integrate VirtualBox into your current offerings? VirtualBox is software designed to allow users to run multiple operating systems on top of whatever operating system they currently have installed. Whether they choose Windows, Mac OS X, Linux or Solaris as their default desktop of choice, VirtualBox will ride on top of it and allow them to host any arbitrary collection of operating system instances. Software developers everywhere are starting to discover this way of operating, and these desktop virtualization solutions are quickly becoming part of the common developer tool kit. VirtualBox will act as the broadly available gateway to the rest of the xVM platform. Developers that build applications have a huge amount of influence on how [the apps are] deployed. We believe that developers using VirtualBox can help guide their friends in the data center toward xVM Server as the preferred deployment engine. How are you targeting your virtualization message to those businesses and enterprises that already have Windows and Linux in their server environments, and what is the value proposition you are trying to sell them on? To put it succinctly, choice. Windows and Linux customers can now run their Windows and Linux environments using a totally open-source virtualization solution that will deliver improvements in availability, security and scalability. Sun's new and expanding partnerships with companies like Microsoft, Red Hat, AMD and Intel should help give Windows and Linux customers confidence that Sun is ready to help them in this space. In particular, our bilateral support agreements for virtualization with Microsoft and Red Hat will ensure customers are completely supported in Windows and Linux environments when running inside Sun xVM.
Previews of the Sun xVM hypervisor are available for download today. Our first commercial release is slated for the second quarter of calendar year 2008, with support for x86 servers from IBM, Dell, HP and Sun. The second release will include an additional distribution targeted at Sun's SPARC servers using CoolThreads technology, such as Niagara and Niagara 2.
In terms of operating systems, we will support Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux and Solaris as guests.