eWEEK Labs on IBM/Sun: Sorting Out the Virtualization Picture

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2009-03-18 Print this article Print

TECH ANALYSIS: Both IBM and Sun Microsystems offer virtualization technology for their systems, but IBM would probably phase out Sun's if the two companies were to merge. Sun's VirtualBox virtualization software has not been around long enough to gain a strong foothold among Sun users, while IBM has a strong relationship with VMware.

There are few technologies in the data center that are getting the same level of attention from enterprises as virtualization.

Virtualization offers the promise of driving down costs through consolidation while increasing server utilization. The technology also is rapidly expanding beyond servers and into other aspects of the data center, from storage devices to applications to networks.

It's also an area in which both IBM and Sun Microsystems have offerings. Those products will have to be sorted out if IBM follows through on buying Sun.

Sun has virtualization for its SPARC hardware running Solaris and also for commodity x86 systems in its xVM line. IBM has virtualization for its proprietary hardware and would likely add the xVM developments to its product line while phasing out Sun's proprietary virtualization system as the underlying hardware reached the end of its service life.

Sun acquired Innotek-the original maker of VirtualBox-in February 2008, so it isn't as if IT managers have had years to implement and embed the x86 virtualization technology. As a competitor to Microsoft's Hyper-V or, more importantly, VMware's ESXi, it doesn't really register on the scale.

IBM has relationships with VMware and embeds the VMware hypervisor in some of its server offerings. Leaving IT managers undisturbed as they proceed to virtualize with VMware would probably have the advantage over an attempt to introduce xVM.

Labs Technical Director Cameron Sturdevant can be reached at cameron.sturdevant@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

eWEEK Labs Examines IBM, Sun Product Synergies, Overlap

Storage Is the Key Technology

Open-Source Community Would Win

Databases Would Feed Off Each Other

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at cameron.sturdevant@quinstreet.com.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel