Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mark Hamilton on Sun xVM

Sun, in the person of Mark Hamilton, is talking about the open, cross-platform Sun xVM Server. For x86 machines, the hypervisor based on Xen. For new SPARC systems (Sun4v), Sun will use the LDOM hypervisor. Both will support multiple operating systems. (Windows, a well known but proprietary operating system from Microsoft, is tied to the x86 architecture).

Mark has started to talk about Sun xVM Ops Center which is
a highly scalable, full stack management tool to manage thousands of hardware and software entities. Sun xVM Ops Center will be one of the first tools to manage both your physical and virtual environments. Other virtualization management tools may be able to restart your VM when you have a DIMM failure, but then you need to switch to a different management tool to actually find the machine where the physical failure occurred. With Sun xVM Ops Center, you can do that all with one consistent management tool.
According to a report in eWeek, Ops Center is expected to be available in December. In that report, Tim Marsland, Sun's CTO for software, observes that GPL issues do not arise as the Xen-based hypervisor and guest operating systems - Windows, Linux etc. - all run in their own address space.

An interesting aspect of open source project is that those who care to see a project evolve in development can peek inside the community site and see the sausages being made. Look for the link Flag day: Solaris xVM Solaris on Xen in the list of build-by-build Heads-Ups and Project Integration History page for OpenSolaris.

ITPRO reports:
The Sun xVM hypervisor will be on general release by the second quarter next year, but will have two previews, the first by the end of this year and the second by May 2008. The system is already available in the Open Solaris community, but will be released as a separate commercial product from Sun.
In the meantime, Sun continues to team with VMware. As Sun's x86 portfolio continues to expand, many non-Solaris users are finding VMware to be very effective on Sun hardware. Being able to also sell the Windows licenses just makes too much sense for Sun (says the guy who learned to edit files with ed(1) and a hard-copy terminal and SunOS with SunView on a 3/50 with 1 Mb of RAM and a mllion pixels.)

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