Release: Oracle VM for SPARC 2.0 (formerly Sun Logical Domains)

Yesterday Oracle, during its OpenWorld conference, announced the availability of a virtualization platform called Oracle VM for SPARC 2.0. In reality this is the new version of the Logical Domains (LDoms) technology, which Sun originally launched in April 2007.

The product should not be confused with Oracle VM for x86, which reached version 2.x in the first half of 2008 and that is heading towards version 3.0.
While LDoms is hardware virtualization platform like the original Oracle VM is has a completely different architecture and capabilities.

LDOMs leverages the capabilities of UltraSPARC T1, T2 and T3 processors, which ship with a built-in hypervisor. 
It allows to create up to 128 virtual machines per physical server, and each can boot a restricted selection of guest operating systems, including Solaris 10 and 11, OpenSolaris (which Oracle recently dropped), Ubuntu Linux Server Edition and OpenBSD.

Despite the great confusion generated by this new naming policy, the new version introduces a few notable features:


  • Hot add/remove of vCPUs, vRAM, virtual I/O and cryptographic units
  • Support for on-chip cryptographic accelerators
  • Suppor for PCIe direct I/O
  • Support for CPU power management (increase/decrease vCPU speed based on utilization)
  • Support for RAM power management (put under-utilized memory in a deeper idle mode)
  • Support for power thresholds (set a power limit for the system and reduce the power state of manageable resource if the limit is reached)
  • P2V migration tool to import Solaris 8/9/10 operating systems on physical servers