Tech Talk on the xVM Portfolio - VDI, Virtual Box, xVM Server, xVM Ops Center

 As I've mentioned before, I organize regular internal tech-talks at Sun's Grenoble Engineering Center, on a wide range of themes from blogging to virtualization, from collaboration and work-from-home tools to sun-labs projects.

This week it was my turn to animate a tech-talk again, and the theme was on and around the xVM Portfolio.

The Sun xVM portfolio addresses virtualization needs from the desktop to the datacenter. It helps optimize and manage both virtual and physical industry-standard IT environments with the following:

xVM Ops Center
xVM VirtualBox



xVM Server
Sun VDI Software



Here in the team in Grenoble, we're actively involved in developing two of the above (xVM Ops Center and xVM Server), and some of the technology we developed prior to joining the xVM projects (the Common Agent Container) is also used in the VDI Software to build the management hub.

For this tech-talk, I presented some slides around these products and technologies, and then Prisca Moine, from our team, gave a short demo. I've captured a few screenshots here, you can click on any of them to see a full-size image.

Here's the xVM Server being managed through the browser, with a couple of installed guests:

xvm server

... and here you can see the same xVM Server being managed through xVM Ops Center, where I\\it's also managing some other things in our physical data center - you can see choco, our Solaris 10 build server, on which we have a Solaris Zone for each developer, plus you can see a mainframe-class Sun SPARC Enterprise 9000 Server on the west coast of the USA that I had been using to test Ops Center's capability to discover and manage it.

ops center

Do you see the CPU spike on that XP guest? Want to know what's going on? How about just taking a look at its live console (yes, live, you can play pinball in it!), which is available directly from inside Ops Center's UI:

xp console

 Oh yes, I remember now, I'd stopped playing pinball, and I'd told windows' calculator to calculate 999999999 factorial... a simple trick used to provoke a CPU spike for testing!

Being able to see the live guest console (serial console and framebuffer) inside the UI is really cool - but sometimes you want to just use the console, and not have the rest of the admin console around... with one click, you can detach the console from the rest of the UI into another window:

Last but not least, it was time to do the alice-in-wonderland thing and come back out of the rabbit hole - all this time Prisca been demoing xVM Ops Center and xVM Server, Prisca had been running the demo on Solaris, inside a virtual machine running on xVM VirtualBox, and on the system we also had RedHat Linux running in another window, plus of course the host OS underneath:

VirtualBox

... and popping up another level, to grab the screenshots, I'm now remotely accessing that same demo system with its browser running in xVM VirtualBox, from my SunRay thin-client, part of the VDI solution - something else I use every day at work and from home - I don't need or have a PC or Solaris system in my office, I use a SunRay thin client - no fans, no noise, 4W power consumption, it's terrific!

For a note of humor - all this popping up and down levels of virtualization reminds me of a great "B" movie I really enjoyed at around the same time that Matrix came out - eXistenZ



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