Sun updates on the future of xVM Server

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An unexpectedly quick answer came from Sun after the article titled Sun xVM Server may be indefinitely postponed now published last week.

On his corporate blog, Steve Wilson, the Sun Vice President of xVM, wrote a long post detailing how the company has decided to reconsider many aspects of the hypervisor design after the feedbacks received during the Early Availability program.

  • Participants requested a “hands off” installation process that could be used to deploy the hypervisor to many servers quickly. The single-system install was “klunky” and not suited to an enterprise data-center.
  • Participants requested migration capability for guests between hypervisor instances. Multi-host management was not an add-on option — it was a requirement for serious use.
  • Participants requested more access to the underlying OpenSolaris instance to allow for more customization. While people appreciated having a wrapper “appliance” around the core Solaris instance, it was a problem having a totally custom OpenSolaris distro for xVM Server.
  • Customers are now for more interested in larger “cloud” type deployments than smaller consolidation projects

Sun doesn’t seem concerned at all about the delays accumulated so far and doesn’t seem to value the time-to-market aspect as a critical aspect of its strategy in the highly competitive virtualization industry that we have today. As result the company is now:

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.

Unfortunately Wilson forgot to mention when we should expect xVM Server now, but most of all he completely skipped the discussion about what Sun will do with it as soon as the Oracle acquisition is complete.
Probably it’s too early to say or maybe he can’t speak on Oracle behalf, but it’s clear that the customers concerns now are more about what will happen a year from now, rather than the current state of the product. 
Without a firm and prompt answer on this, nobody will bet on xVM Server and will move its long-term investment money elsewhere.

On his blog Wilson also informs that the new version of xVM Ops Center now includes a xVM Server beta and sports extended support for it.
Last week wrongly reported that Ops Center 2.1 doesn’t have any virtualization support, sorry about that.
Anyway it’s not clear why Sun is doing this: if they already know that xVM Server must be redesigned in part to address the customers feedbacks, why include the soon-to-be-discarded bits in a shipping product?