Sun wants to be different in virtualization market

Santa Clara (CA) - Sun revealed some details of its virtualization strategy, which is anchored in its Solaris 10 operating system. In a sea of very similar virtualization platforms and approaches, Sun believes that being different and adding value will be a significant contributor to success in this segment.

Virtualization may not be on the radar of the mainstream yet, but the technology is gaining traction in the enterprise field. Solutions, including hardware-based foundations such as Intel's VT or AMD-V, as well as a range of software technologies are beginning to be more visible as computer systems become powerful enough to support multiple operating systems on one processor.

Sun has positioned Solaris 10 as the cornerstone of its virtualization strategy and has integrated virtualization capabilities deeply into the software. A key technology are logical domains that Sun calls "LDOMs" which enable users to run up to 32 Solaris copies within "Solaris containers" on one T1 processor-based system. Alternatively, the software also allows users to run Linux on top of Solaris.

A key are in which Sun tries to innovate and offer added value is security. Even with 32 copies that are physically controlled by one system, Solaris 10 can adjust the security levels for each container, providing an additional level of flexibility for complex installations. Sun officials told TG Daily that operating system support may be limited to a Solaris-Linux combination and a Windows layer is out of the question: "Windows and Sparc just does not make much sense," we were told.

If users are looking for Windows support in Solaris, the only option will remain Solaris 10 for the x86 platform.

According to Sun, enterprises are beginning to adopt virtualization capabilities on "larger scale". While virtualization is primarily used to consolidate existing installations and create more efficient computer systems, Sun believes that there will be a second wave of virtualization adoption that will focus to decreasing the deployment time of software within organizations.