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The Oracle VM Product Line Welcomes Sun!

Now that the Sun acquisition has closed, and we are one company, we can start talking to you about all the exciting things available in today's Oracle VM product line and where we are going. In the coming days and weeks, you can expect to see a number of new blog entries from a number of voices that may be new to this Oracle blog, but are definitely not new to virtualization.  We are tremendously excited to combine our portfolios and work side-by-side with our extremely talented Sun brethren to advance the state-of-the art in virtualization.

As others have said across the industry, particularly with the Sun acquisition, Oracle has the greatest collection of products and technologies in the industry to take virtualization to the next level and enable truly integrated, comprehensive solutions for customers. From the beginning, we've said that Oracle virtualization is not about virtualization for virtualization's sake: it's about creating virtualization products and technologies that make applications and other software easier to deploy, easier to manage, and easier to support.  That strategy is unwaivering and is bolstered with the addition of the Sun products.

First, let's dispel some rumors right off the bat to make it crystal clear what we are driving forward and continuing to invest in vigorously in the virtualization space (in no particular order...):

  • Oracle VM Server for SPARC (Logical Domains): Hypervisor-based virtualization for SPARC servers
  • Oracle VM Server for x86/x64: Hypervisor-based virtualization for x86/x64 servers
  • Oracle VM VirtualBox: Hosted workstation and server virtualization for x86/x64
  • Oracle Secure Global Desktop: Presentation / desktop services for server resident applications
  • Sun Ray software and hardware: Thin client computing but oh so much more
  • Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure: VDI for Windows, Linux, and Solaris desktops
  • Solaris Containers and Zones:  Highly scalable Solaris virtualization
  • Sun Dynamic Domains:  The ultimate in OS instance isolation
If anyone tells you they heard one of these products is no longer important or not moving forward at Oracle, it is simply not true.  Please point them to this blog entry. 

But - Adam - what about the Sun xVM server you ask?  Sun's xVM server was never fully released and productized by Sun while Oracle VM, Oracle's own x86 server virtualization with a Xen-based architecture has been shipping and running in production for just over 2 1/2 years and thus Oracle VM for x86/x64 will continue to be Oracle's target of strategic investment in the Xen-architecture space.

Last, but very definitely not least, management:  Management is, in fact, a huge part of our focus with Oracle VM Manager, Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Ops Center so rest assured on that front as well that these products and investments will flourish. 

Not only are we investing in all these things, you'll see quite a bit of activity in the space in the coming months and across the year, so please keep an eye on this blog.  We'll have a number of entries to go into more thoughts on each of the products I've listed above and then some.

Finally, if you haven't already, you should definitely watch our strategy webcast with Oracle's Chief Architect Edward Screven talking about our virtualization direction.  That can be found here (opens a new Flash window) to hear a more detailed presentation covering these products.  You should also take a look at the Management strategy here.


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Comments (10)

Randy Nitowski:

So will Oracle view LDOMS as a legitimate virtual layer that will be supported by Oracle Licensing? In the past Oracle has stated that VMWare and other VM technology would not be considered as a method to partition a server for licensing purposes and that all CPU's in the physical machine would need to be licensed. As an example, will a customer be able to create a LDOM with only lets say 2 cpu's available on a 32 cpu server and be only required to license 2 cpu's?

Doug Arnott:

So what happened to keeping the Sun brand for Sun technologies? Most of those just sound so wrong. (And now "Sun Ray" sounds wrong as well, because it's the only one with "Sun" in the name.)

adam.hawley Author Profile Page:

@Randy: Thanks for the question. As we have always done in the past, Oracle will continue to periodically review it's licensing policies as products and technologies evolve to determine the appropriate licensing for different scenarios. With Logical Domains (Oracle VM Server for SPARC) now a part of Oracle's portfolio, of course it would be included in any such review.

adam.hawley Author Profile Page:

Doug - The naming and branding guidelines are that "Sun" has been retained as a brand within Oracle for hardware products, while software products have moved to "Oracle _____" naming and generally won't have "Sun ____" names going forward. Thus "Sun Ray" retaining its name as a thin client device. However, we did have to think about "Sun Ray" a bit since it is both software and hardware: a solution comprised of the Sun Ray Server software that hosts and/or serves your applications and desktops to the Sun Ray virtual display client hardware (and software client too since there is a Sun Ray soft client for your PC as well). But in the end, we just thought "Sun Ray" had a better ring to it than "Oracle Ray" which sounds like it could be the nickname of your database administrator rather than an enterprise class virtual desktop display solution.

Ceri Davies:

I've heard rumours that the SGD and Sun Ray licensing models have changed since the merger; could you please comment on this? Thanks.


What will be the preferred VM server for OpenSolaris 2010.03? (since xVM will not be preferred now) What are the options? We were hoping to use xVM in that release.


Florian Manschwetus:

Don't make the mistake to reduce xvm Server to just the BUI Sun tried to launch. It is a lot more, it is currently one of the must promising and active parts of the xen community, a lot of the fast progress of the vanilla linux xen was done by opensolaris xvm team. The full integration with crossbow is a really nice feature. So why not replacing the xen part in Oracle VM (what is if I got it right, a xen derivate on top of a linux (mind about the kernel trouble for dom0) + a really great management based on libvirt (which is also there on opensolaris) + some PV Drivers for Windows (this gap goes to be filled up by James Harpers GPLPV drivers, or maybe oracle has something more sophisticated to jump in)). Especially to go down the appliance path, it may be a good idea to replace the linux xen part with opensolaris xvm. It has proved to be reliable and stable, also it adds the great favor of zfs and crossbow and maybe a lot of other things oracle should know best about (I mean they have bought not at least solaris for some reason). Maybe merging the core opensolaris xvm with the superior management of oracle VM could give VM Ware the final blow?
Another point of view is, that xvm never lost connection with the vanilla xen, so it will easily follow down the route to xen4 what will bring some other great new features (RDMA Live migration and remus and/or kemari).

Just some thoughts of an well proved xen user, who is really impressed by the progress done and brougth back to the community by the opensolaris xvm team, please do not stop it here, the only one who could really get some profit by abandoning opensolaris xvm is vm-ware.


As long as Oracle VM migrates to a zfs filesystem at the dom0 level, not supporting the Solaris/Opensolaris xvm is ok. Anybody who has used the Opensolaris xvm with a zfs filesystem for snapshots, cloning, and dedup can recognize that zfs is so much more powerful than the other filesystems you can manage your DomUs on. To not use zfs and to discard the Solaris xvm would not be fully leveraging the IP and technology Oracle acquired to play in the virtualization market.

Jimmy Painter:

I can't help but feel as SUN guy like Solaris should be the one and only ROBUST big iron OS that Oracle would be working on, improving on, and putting all the cool features that they come up with into. Linux with it's 10,000 different flavors is already confusing and fragmented enough. If oracle must maintain Unix and Linux, let it be OpenSolaris based and at least eliminate 1 of the 3 toed monster we are all expected to keep up with. "Now which one of these runs these runs the App or feature I wanted? OpenSolaris? Oracle Linux? Solaris? Or maybe I should just move over to Ubuntu or Redhat, or ..........." This is all really beginning to suck. O yea, if you are not some MAJOR corporation or someone, try calling Oracle and just try to get someone to sort out all this mess and what all do I really need to set my company. I almost HATE everything about this new murder, woops I meant merger. I was holding out some hope that oracle would bring some much needed change but again it is just more of the same Fractured, Holier that thou, elitism that was SUN. If only they would listen to the little guys. O but that’s right we don’t have all that Money and damn if they don't seem to be intent on keeping us that way. I was all-ready for a Single solitary source to finally match VMware but also provide the hardware as well. I may be considering just going to someone else. It may take 10 vendors but Hell at least they will talk to me and I actually know people who use these other technologies. I thought I would be SO smart and use the "Best thing on the market" but it is taking so much more time to research every stinking thing I want to know all by my lonesome, I could have already had my company up and going using these other so called "Lesser Solutions". O well, I guess I am just tired and disgusted. Maybe by some miracle someone else besides me who has Oracle’s ear will help them see WE, or should I say “I” don’t want 40 billion different confusing solutions from ONE vendor. 15 Different Databases, 3 different O.S.s, nine-eleventeen-bizilion “MANAGEMENT” interfaces. Hell I would love to speak to a salesman who actually knows the real number of Software packages Oracle does sell and just what the Hell do they do. GEE whillickers, what will I actually need to buy to do what I need. Just about the time I think I have an Idea, there is just 1 more. Just give me something that works and doesn’t change directions every other day or so. Good Luck Sun/Oracle, hope everyone hangs around long enough for you to make up your mind what you are doing.


+1 on Florian and Rick's comments.

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