Tuesday Feb 12, 2008

Sun grabs VirtualBox

I just ran into Steve Wilson, Sun's VP of xVM, in the cafeteria and heard the good news. Sun is acquiring innotek, a small company based in Germany that makes a very cool product called VirtualBox

I had recently heard of VirtualBox on an internal mailing list, now I have no excuse not to download it for my Mac and run Ubuntu in it (I was going to use Fusion, but this makes more sense).  I wonder if it will also let me load up the Fedora 8 disc I got at SCALE?

Here are some basics:

  • innotek VirtualBox is a family of x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. 
  • Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh and OpenSolaris hosts
  • It has a very extensive list of supported guest OS's [including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), and OpenBSD]
  • VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company  [which will now be Sun  ;)]
  • You can find sources, binaries, documentation and other resources for VirtualBox on this site
  • It is freely available as Free Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
  • You can download it here.

For more info on this deal, you can check out the press release as well as Steve's blog and Tim Marsland's (our software CTO).

Looks like we're on a roll, I can't wait to see what Free software company we might acquire next. :) 

Pau for now...

Tuesday Oct 23, 2007

Out with the Dell, In with the Sun

When Sun acquired identity management standout Waveset a few years ago, along with the company came a whole bunch of Dell boxes that they had acquired, post-boom, on the cheap. 

Thanks to the magic of virtualization however, these roughly 125 systems have been recently replaced by 7 Sun Fire X2200 servers.  (For those inquiring minds, the X2200s being used are each fitted out with 2 dual core AMD 64s, 32GM of RAM and 2 500GB SATA drives.)

Think of all the power the Dell boxes used to draw and the heat that they generated, heck you probably now need a parka when you go in the lab!  And what will they do with all with all that extra space?  An air hockey table? Ping Pong?  My vote would be for a tiki bar.


Outgoing Dells

Chris G., IT dude extrodinaire, sits on a mini-mountain of outgoing Dell boxes.

More Dell boxes on their way out.  This stack equals one X2200.

The rest of the Dells -- as far as the eye can see.


Incoming Suns

All of the above were replaced with this rack of 5 servers plus 2 more in another rack.

Pau for now...

Thursday Jul 12, 2007

Ldoms -- Waddya know, they work!

Last week both Fabio and David Miller posted about getting Ubuntu to run as a guest host in Sun's LDoms.  A huge round of applause for Fabio and David for proving that LDoms actually work! :)

LDoms or Logical Domains are being positioned as Sun's core virtualization solution for SPARC-based systems.  In it, a hypervisor sits between the bare metal and the OS,  allowing for multiple domains which can act as independent systems.  For the gory details on how it really works, check out David's blog entries on June 27 and July 4th.  Or for an update on the progress and how they've just got it to install from archive, check out Fabio's post today.

An artist's rendition of how this would look as slideware.

And speaking of Fabio, we had a great chat with him on Tuesday when we paired him up with the some folks from the Sun LDom engineering team.   Among other things, we found out that Gutsy, Ubuntu's next release,  due out Oct 18 will feature LDom support as a guest.

It was perfect timing since John Falkenthal just took over the team three weeks ago and his job is to take this technology from a 1.0 (and you know what those are like) to a highly robust, enhanced enterprise offering (or some similar set of marketing words).  And of course to do that we will need a little help from our friends.  Also on John's list of things to do in the next year are to open source the technology, increase support for guest OS's, foster community development and develop systems management for virtualization on SPARC....That should keep him busy :) .

Pau for now... 


I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.


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