Monday May 11, 2009

xVM Status Update - VirtualBox, VDI, OpsCenter, Server, Training ... And Information Flow in a Corporation

This entry is quite longer than usual; it started as a short update on the recent 2.1 release of xVM OpsCenter but it quickly grew to cover other intertwined announcements. I could have done several separate posts but a single one seemed more useful, so...

Start with Steve's What's Up with xVM or in the Virtualization Page at; the 5 inter-related areas down from there are: VirtualBox, xVM Server, xVM Ops Center, LDOMs and VDI.

VirtualBox (Community; Sun) is a Type 2 ("hosted" VM) virtualization solution. VirtualBox has a very fast release cycle (see ChangeLog) and it regularly adds features and performance and addresses bugs. The last release was 2.2.2 and it has received very positive press reviews (eWeek 1 and eWeek 2). VirtualBox is a solid hit; check the latest Google Trends; also see entries tagged VirtualBox.

xVM Server (Community previously here but now at Xen@OpenSolaris; Sun) is a Type 1 ("native" VM) virtualization solution based on the work of Xen Project and this is the area that seems to be in most flux. Steve addressed some of the points in the above-mentioned entry and later in Free Hypervisor Options. Quoting from the first entry on feedback from the beta program:

As a result of these and many other observations, we concluded that a general purpose, multi-node solution is required. Thus, we refocused our efforts around use-cases where Ops Center becomes the central way to manage the hypervisor and the underlying hardware. In addition, we've started on a trajectory where we will converge the xVM Server and OpenSolaris lines so that exactly the same codebase is used for both.


xVM Ops Center (Users, Sun) is Sun's unified systems management tool - it provides Management and Monitoring of pysical and virtual assets, provisioning, patch automation and IT compliance. The latest release supports power management and interacts with Sun's ILOM; see Availability of 2.1, Change Page and Demo. Also check the Free Training and the Integration with Halcyon Neuron.

Logical Domains (LDOM) (Community; Sun) allows the grouping of system resources into logical groups to provide very cheap, built-in (no hypervisor) virtualization for Sun's CMT systems. The scope of this technology is more limited than the previous virtualization solutions but it is very efficient and meshes very well with Sun's hardware story. A (separate recent announcement was that of Solaris 10 Branded Zones, an addition to previous Linux and Solaris 8 and 9 zones; see Bob's Zones vs LDOMs for an overview of the two technologies.

Finally there is VDI - Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (Sun). I think of it as SunRay meets VBox: the goal is to maximize IT infrastructure utilization and improve manageability of desktop deployments and the latest release, VDI 3.0, leverages VDI broker, VirtualBox and OpenStorage servers. ZDNet has a Positive Review that ends asking for more publicity on the technology, so... check Markus' series: Installation, Configuration and Usage, Claudia's Demo Configuration Instructions, Deployment Guide, and the Coralville Adoption Story.

Hope this helps to understand how the 5 pieces relate to each other. This entry is also a good example of how blogs, wikis and other self-publishing tools accelerate information flow within a corporation. All the writeups mentioned above are mini-essays on the different topics; they are all published directly by the authors and cross-linked via the internet. Add Blogs.Sun.Com and an Internet Search Tool and I can grab a thread and construct the story... And, if I get it wrong, somebody will correct me... It is not fool-proof, but try to replicate this by registering into N\*\*M mailing lists!

Of course, you need some significant level of transparency in the organization; otherwise one needs to get a legal approval to post anything! The alternative is to try to replicate the internet dynamics within the corporation, which may work for a very large company like IBM, but would not work for us at Sun, and does not help in communicating directly to the customer.

Now back to our short blog entries...

Saturday Jan 31, 2009

xVM Ops Center 2.0 Released


xVM 2.0 OpsCenter has been released. This version of the product does "Gear discovery, OS provisioning and updates, firmware updates, and hardware management"... and will manage the xVM Server when that one releases.

OpsCenter is part of the xVM family which was Launched in September. A good description of its GUI is described here. For more information, check the xVM OpsCenter Documentation or sign up for a Webinar.

PS. Now that the release is out, I'll ask them about presenting at our Online Webinar

Wednesday Sep 10, 2008

xVM Launch Recap

Yesterday was the launch of Sun's xVM portfolio. This is a big deal for Sun and I think it will also have an impact in the industry; it is nice to see all these pieces starting to fall in place. I'll just provide a bit of context and let you follow the links.


There are 4 pieces to the portfolio: xVM Server, a bare-metal hypervisor that is easy to manage, xVM Ops Center, an "internet-scale" (i.e. oogles of machines) management product for it, xVM VirtualBox, virtualization on your desktop/laptop, and xVM VDI, virtualization of Desktops.

The Launch Site does a good job; it includes the customary interviews with execs (but not just Sun, also Microsoft, Intel and CSC Financial Services), plus demos and overviews of all the key pieces. Also see SDN News.

Sun and MS are working together again - like they did with Metro - and they have agreed to interoperability between their Virtualization offerings - see the xVMBlog and reports at OStatic and BusinessWire. The press has done a pretty good coverage of the general launch, see InternetNews, VNUnet, TheWhir, TradingMarkets.

There are many other blogs on this at BSC, hopefully all tagged as xVM.

Added - Reflections and thank-yous Steve; the HPC watercooler folks Do a Recap that points to the community site at OpenxVM.ORG; and Marc writes about the Implications of xVM for HPC; the VirtualBox folks do a Summary.

Monday Sep 01, 2008

... Chrome Browser, Mozilla Ubiquity, JMX Events, WSRP and Liferay, xVM Server EA

A compilation of today's news of interest:

Radio Receiver Icon

The biggest (technical) news of the day is the Google announcement of a WebKit-based Chrome browser (Blog, Cartoon). I have mixed feelings about this; competition is usually good for users/consumers, but I like that FireFox is an independent party, generating things like Ubiquity and Smart Location-Bar...

From the OpenPortal folks, WSRP Consumer in Liferay (it was already in WebSynergy) and progress on the NetBeans 6.5 Portal Pack.

From Eamonn, a description of the JMX Event Service in JDK 7 Snapthots, including things like more flexible notifications and the ability to use additional transports. Eamonn and Shanliang are asking for feedback on the design.

And from Steve and update on the next phase in the xVM Server Early Access.

Thursday Aug 28, 2008

... mod_jk, Brazil, Typo, Roller and SocialSite, xVM, and Online Stores Galore

A compilation of today's news of interest:

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From the Grizzly Community - much simpler mod_jk support in GlassFish v3 for improved Apache HTTPD as a front-end. And, an old story about the New Leadership on Grizzly 2.0 - Congrats, Alexey!

From Brazil, several GlassFish-related events during September, The Java Month: first we will have representation at JustJava and several of the 14-city tour, including a Visit by Kohsuke, and then, later in the month, by Arun including Sun TechDays in Sao Paolo. Contact Arun and Kohsuke if you want to leverage their visit.

And talking about Arun, a report on how to Run Typo on GlassFish/JRuby.

From Dave, news of him joining his two babies in a Social Roller; I know he has been iching to work on this for a while, looking forward to the results!

From the xVM Team, a new Home Page and White Paper.

And, from the land of Online Stores, two new developements: news of a New Kindle and noises about an Android App Store. The Kindle seems a sure (continued) winner; I'm curious about how Android will fare - a lot of competition out there!

Tuesday Aug 12, 2008

... IDEA 8.0; First OpenSSO Express; SilverLight and Metro; xVM Server demo; OEM of VirtualBox

A compilation of today's interesting news:

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From JetBrains team - the release of the first Milestone of IntelliJ IDEA 8.0; including GlassFish Server support (of course); it claims to be a substantial revamp from 7.0.

Arun shows how to Access Metro from MS Silverlight. I'll come clean - I am using Silverlight to watch the Badminton Games from the Beijing Olympics.

OpenSSO is now available in the First Express Build - b5.

Sun's Press Release on OEM Deals around VirtualBox; OEM is one more way to monetize Open Source investment - we are seeing similar opportunities around our middleware OSS offerings.

Barton reports from DebCon in Mar del Plata; it looks like there is a good chance of OpenJDK being included in Lenny; keep fingers crossed.

Steve (Wilson) demoes xVM Server to redmonk's Cote.

Saturday Jul 19, 2008

Blueprints Wiki - Best Practices on ZFS, MySQL, Hadoop, and much more

I just bumped into the Sun BluePrints Wiki and I think it is worth a visit. It is a companion to the BluePrints Blog and part of the move towards Self-Published Content at Sun, which increases agility and responsiveness to user's needs.

The Recent Content page lists chronologically the latest changes. The more recent entries are created in Wiki format, while the earlier ones are PDF attachments.

Some of the documents that caught my attention include:


Hadoop Primer
Optimizing MySQL Server on x64 Servers and Storage
Configure J4000 and ZFS in 10 Minutes
Modularity in Data Center Design
Using SSD instead of HDD
• V12N Entries: Solaris HW, LDOMs & CMT, LDOMs & IO, xVM Hypervisor.