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Sun Microsystems' xVM stategy rises

Sun Microsystems' Solaris-based version of Xen open-source hypervisor project is on the rise, as virtualization takes root in the industry.

And the beat goes on.

Sun Microsystems' xVM virtualization efforts is getting louder and louder.

Sun's xVM is its Solaris-based version of the Xen open-source hypervisor project. Sun's xVM aims to allow x86 servers to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single computer, in a move toward increased flexibility and data center efficiency. xVM also relies on Sun's Solaris operating system, while Xen primarily uses Linux.

Last September, Sun named its Xen-based virtualization project xVM. That effort attracted some attention on Sun's blog.

Then in October, Sun executives expanded the scope and geography of that message, talking to the press from London to San Francisco. The topic: Sun xVM Server and Sun xVM Ops Center, designed to serve as soup-to-nuts software for virtualizing and managing the datacenter.

Earlier this month, Sun released OpenSolaris Developer Preview for download. The beta included such features as xVM and is scheduled for release in the spring as OpenSolaris 3/08.

Sun's chief executive, Jonathan Schwartz, is scheduled to discuss Sun's virtualization strategy and roadmap at Oracle OpenWorld on Wednesday, as well as some of its partners for the free, open-source datacenter virtualization and management platform. MySQL and Quest Software, for example, have signed aboard as xVM partners.

Providing further context around Schwartz's pending keynote was Rich Green, Sun's executive vice president of software.

"Virtualization is just beginning, as evidenced by VMware's roll out in the market," Green said. "We look at VM as a wide range of technologies. In the next five years, it's hard to imagine any IT company that would deploy their architecture without VM."

He added that the challenge is how a guest operating system views the data center. And the hypervisor is the window through which applications view the entire data center.

"The key is getting the most out of the data center," Green noted.