Sun to begin xVM Server beta this month, xVM Ops Manager beta in March

After mastering OS virtualization with Solaris Containers (aka Zones) in Solaris 10, Sun is now approaching the hardware virtualization market, with its own implementation of Xen hypervisor called xVM Server.

Officially announced in November 2007, xVM Server will feature a Solaris kernel instead of a Linux one, and will be offered as stand-alone product.

Besides this hypervisor Sun will also provide an enterprise management solution called Ops Center, which will be able to handle large-scale deployments of physical and virtual machines.

On longer terms Sun may want to integrate these two products with another one: a connection broker for virtual desktop environments (VDI) called Sun VDI 1.0.

So far Sun only revealed a pretty general release date for xVM Server and xVM Ops Center, both planned for Q2 2008, but just received a detailed roadmap which unveils beta milestones for the hypervisor and its management solutions: also learned that Sun is working on Solaris Containers 2.0.

All these components added to its hardware offering (servers, storage and thin clients) allow Sun to enter the hardware virtualization market as a major player, possibly the only one able to provide (and support) the entire computing stack for virtualization purposes.

Despite Xen powers several offerings today (Citrix, Virtual Iron, Novell and Red Hat), the Sun one may have additional chances to get adopted.