Sun officially announces xVM hypervisor

It’s well known Sun is working to port Xen open source hypervisor on Solaris since November 2005.

The name, xVM, and the release timeframe, Q2 2008, were disclosed during these last months, but only today, at Oracle OpenWorld conference, Sun decided to officially announce its upcoming virtualization platform:

Customers tell us the last thing they want is a proprietary vendor at the core of their next generation datacenter architectures, which is why Sun is pleased to commit nearly $2 billion in R&D to the success of its xVM program, a free and open software platform and comprehensive management offering to virtualize and manage mixed environments running platform software from the Java, OpenSolaris and Linux software communities, along with Microsoft Windows, across HP, Dell, IBM and Sun hardware.

Red Hat and Sun are collaborating to expand interoperability and customer choice. Customers seeking a free and open source virtualization platform that ensures interoperability and avoids proprietary vendor lock in, can look to Sun and Red Hat solutions. Sun supports Red Hat’s Linux Automation strategy and Red Hat supports Sun’s xVM strategy, both of which extend the reach and value of open source. Red Hat and Sun will ensure customers mutual certification and customer support across our virtualization offerings. In addition, Sun and Red Hat are committed to working together to foster libvirt (, an open source community for cross-platform virtualization management, to enable Sun, Red Hat and 3rd party management tools to seamlessly interoperate across each company’s virtualization platforms.

As part of Sun’s commitment to interoperability, Sun xVM will run on multi-vendor x86/64 and SPARC processor-based systems from leading hardware vendors including Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM and Sun.

Sun xVM Ops Center and Sun xVM Server will be the first of the xVM family of products introduced to the market. Sun xVM Ops Center will deliver a unified management console that will help users to manage both the virtualized and physical components of their IT environment. Sun xVM Server, Sun’s virtualization server, will include code derived from work of the Xen open source community. Sun xVM Server will help extend the benefits of technologies like Predictive Self-Healing software and ZFS to Windows and Linux guest operating system instances, previously only available to Solaris OS users…

The complete Jonathan Schwartz keynote is available here.

Sun also launched an online portal for the community that will grow around xVM.

It’s worth to note that Sun clarified this is just the beginning: the company already launched its own connection broker, Sun VDI, it’s working on network virtualization, it has hardware which could size specifically for virtualization purposes, it has a partnership with Microsoft for Hyper-V interoperability, and it may merge existing OS virtualization technology, Solaris Containers, into a new powerful and flexible computing plaftorm (a goal that only Microsoft is able to achieve as well).

In short Sun is trying to do what IBM didn’t even try despite similar a position: using the Xen opportunity to builld a comprehensive virtualization infrastructure and return to be a prime player in the IT industry.