Sun Readies VirtualBox for Data Centre Virtualisation

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Sun has upgraded it VirtualBox virtualisation platform, to compete with virtualisation technology from VMware, Citrix and Microsoft

Sun Microsystems is claiming its VirtualBox virtualisation platform is now ready for the data centre.

VirtualBox 3.0, released by this week, can now run multi-processor virtual machines for high-end workloads, according to company officials.

Where the product in the past could only run on a single x86 processor, the new version can host up to 32 virtual CPUs in a single virtual machine, enough to accommodate such server-based workloads as databases and web applications.

VirtualBox, which takes advantage of virtualisation technology in x86 processors from Intel and AMD, can now work in the data centre as well as the desktop.

“The rapid evolution and proliferation of VirtualBox software continues,” Jim McHugh, vice president of marketing for data centre software at Sun, said in a statement. “With each new version, VirtualBox software delivers more innovation, performance and power. And as virtualisation continues to gain momentum in the market, the world’s developers and IT decision makers are turning to VirtualBox en masse.”

The new capabilities brings Sun’s virtualisation platform into the realm of those from VMware, Citrix Systems and Microsoft.

Sun, which gained the VirtualBox technology through its 2008 acquisition of Innotek, has rapidly ramped the platform’s capabilities, rolling out beta versions less than a month ago.

Along with the new server capabilities, Sun engineers have enhanced the platform’s desktop features, including improved graphics through added Microsoft Direct3D support for Windows guests.

In addition, VirtualBox 3.0 supports version 2.0 of the Open Graphics Library (OpenGL) standard, enabling high-performance Windows, Linux, Solaris, and OpenSolaris graphical apps to run software that normally would need graphical hardware acceleration.

VirtualBox 3.0 also supports a wider range of USB devices, including storage devices, Apple iPods and mobile phones.

The upgrade this week follows Sun’s partnership with RingCube to offer Sun Ray users more options when deploying desktop virtualisation.

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