Sun xVM Server may be indefinitely postponed now

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One week ago Oracle announced the acquisition of Sun surprising customers, partners, analysts and even the companies employees.
Many projects inside Sun are being discussed right now and some may be just cancelled.
Reading the messages flowing around social network sites like Facebook or Twitter, it’s easy to see how fear, uncertainty and doubts are spreading across the Sun ranks.

One of the most important projects that Sun has in place and that may be negatively impacted by this deal is the release of xVM Server, the Xen-based hypervisor that Sun originally announced in September 2007.

The launch of the hypervisor has been delayed several times. The last update from Sun suggested a tentative first release in Q2 2009.
Potential customers already know that such release would miss some key features like Fibre Channel and iSCSI SAN support. For that Sun suggested to wait an update in H2 2009.

The company original plan was to release xVM Server along with xVM Ops Center, an ambitious enterprise management solution able to handle physical and virtual boxes, providing enhanced features like virtual machines live migration and resource pools.
Ops Center was ready but xVM Server wasn’t, so Sun decided to release the latter as is, without support for the virtual data center management.
This is why we don’t have yet a xVM Server 1.0 while Ops Center is already at 2.0 version.

During the last weekend Sun silently updated Ops Center once again, reaching now version 2.1.
There’s still no sign of support for xVM Server, meaning that the hypervisor GA date is still far away.

The chances that Sun actually releases this product now seems very, very limited.
Oracle already has its own Xen-based hypervisor, Oracle VM Server, and for the vendor releasing an overlapping product just doesn’t make sense.
It’s much more likely that VM Server and xVM Server will merge. If this is not possible for any technical constrain, Oracle may want to stick with its own solution and drop the Sun code: every day Sun postpones its entrance in the virtualization market its competitors gain market share, and because changing the hypervisor of choice is not exactly an easy process, Oracle may decide that a continued development of xVM Server is not worth the effort.