Has Sun a virtualization identity crisis?

sun logo

Yesterday Sun announced a new offering for the SMB segment: a bundle of some of its mid-range servers and SANs with VMware ESX or Microsoft Hyper-V.
Exactly: Sun, which is investing million of dollars on its own hypervisor, is actively pushing two leading competitors.

What’s the strategy behind this initiative?

This is not just a typical offering to pre-install the hypervisor of choice inside a brand new server like every major OEM does since a while now: Sun issued a press announcement, published a dedicated website, highlighted the differences between the two virtualization products suggesting which one is better in which scenario.

An agreement to resell competing hypervisors would make sense if Sun was three years away from releasing xVM Server. But while in late, xVM Server is almost here (as the available documentation demonstrates).

Supposing that Sun can successfully sell ESX and Hyper-V to its customers, what its sales reps will tell them when xVM Server will be out? “Do you mind throwing away the investment that we suggested and that you just made and switch to our hypervisor?”

At that point it will not matter if xVM Server+Ops Center will be a free, valuable platform: customers will invest in learning, deploying and troubleshooting ESX or Hyper-V. How they could consider switching to xVM Server before, let’s say, three years?

This is not the first time that Sun pushes for a competing hypervisor: its VDI solution at the moment only supports VMware ESX and the company couldn’t say when they plan to support xVM Server.

As the Sun VDI is around since a while, it (barely) makes sense that the company tried to push it using the support for ESX as a major selling point. But what’s the sense of this new initiative announced just (hopefully) weeks before the xVM Server launch?

The Sun virtualization proposition seems solid and promising over the long term. Why the company has to sell other solutions instead of waiting for its own?