Open Sourcing Sun xVM Ops Center 1.0

As the first product from Sun to be released under a GPLv3 license, there's a ton of interest and questions coming up around our Ops Center open source plans. Consider this blog post my attempts to help answer any questions. I'll queue up a podcast in a few weeks to discuss the open source process and what we're doing with Ops Center as well. Please let me know any questions you want answered. What we're open sourcing
  • The agentry infrastructure, AKA "CAC" or Common Agent Code. CAC is the basis and building block for the agent itself. This is the first component to be open sourced, and will be available on OpenxVM December 10, 2007
  • The agent itself. The agent does the actual work. The agent sits on each managed operating system instance
  • The proxy server. The proxy server provides both scalability and network efficiency. It has an embedded DB and a web server.
  • The satellite server. This is the main act - where all the UI is performed, the logic, and everything that makes ops center so great.

When we're open sourcing it

Turns out, open sourcing code is hard work. We need to scrub the code for 3rd party, copyright, encumbrances, etc. We need to pull out any non-relevant information. We need to do the actual physical process of getting code outside our firewall. We need to deal with lawyers. All of which means, it takes a while. We've been working on it for a few months, and we'll keep working on it for a few more.

Net net - we're going to do this in phases. To start, we're releasing the aforementioned CAC on December 10th. This is both a sign of good faith, plus demonstrate our commitment. It gives people a set of code they can start to evaluate and play with, and help expand some of the functionality. As we continue to get the code base approved and in process, we'll then be in place to release the entire product open source by 2Q 2008 (that's calendar year, not silly Sun financial year)

What about xVM server?

It's already open source! xVM is integrated into every nevada build now. We're working tightly with the community, and developing this further all the time.

If I missed anything, let me know via email or the comments. I'll either update this post, do another one, or even add it to my next xVM unscripted podcast!


Open sourcing a product also tells the whole world about the quality of engineering that went into designing it. The code speaks volumes of the competency or incompetency of the developers who developed it. In short, you have got to protect your company's image through your code. The legal eagles, the 3rd party stuff is just routine work. What makes you so sure that any open source wiz will not poo poo the code that you put out?

Posted by anoncvs on December 04, 2007 at 12:39 PM PST #

Can you tell me a little bit more about the configuration management features in the enterprise pack? Is it something like cfengine, puppet or bcfg2?

A flexible CM tool would definitly be a killer feature. IMHO keeping up with configuration changes is much harder than provisioning a server.

Posted by Mika on December 04, 2007 at 02:44 PM PST #

Mika: You are right of course - config management is super hard. We have some configuration management capabilities for application management, but nothing like the mentioned tools.

Posted by Oren Teich on December 05, 2007 at 06:01 AM PST #

Oren: Definitely this is something that Sun (or the community around openxvm) should look into. Especially now that HP acquired OpsWare.

I've played around a lot with JET, but getting changes from the production environment back into JET was always quite cumbersome.

What we need is life-cycle support in xVM Ops

Posted by Mika on December 06, 2007 at 04:47 AM PST #

Hi Oren,

I just found your blog. I agree with Mika (big surprise) - and I'd add NetDirector to his list of possible CF tools that xVM should look at.

Question for Mika - can you provide a link for JET? I haven't heard of that one.

Cheers and congrats again on this move - really awesome.


Posted by Greg on December 11, 2007 at 08:42 AM PST #

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