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Sun Microsystems IT

Sun Snags Open Source Virtualization Company, Innotek 49

BobB writes to mention Sun has acquired Innotek, open source desktop virtualization vendor. "VirtualBox will remain free of charge under Sun and be placed in the company's xVM portfolio of virtualization products, Steve Wilson, Sun's vice president of xVM, wrote in a blog posting. 'If we're going to continue to give it away, why is Sun investing in VirtualBox? In short, because the developers that build applications have a huge amount of influence on how they're deployed," Wilson wrote in his blog. "We believe that developers using VirtualBox can help guide their friends in the data center towards xVM Server as the preferred deployment engine. Beyond that, I think there is a huge opportunity to link with Sun's other developer-related assets like NetBeans, Glassfish and (soon) MySQL.'"
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Sun Snags Open Source Virtualization Company, Innotek

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  • Between what they've opened of their own - and the companies they've bought is anyone bigger in the open source realm?
    • by Drollia ( 807891 )
      Maybe IBM or Novell.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by d3vi1 ( 710592 )
        I know that both IBM and Novell have contributed to the open source community, but their contributions are small (in number of lines of code) compared to, OpenSolaris, Java and many others. Sun also contributed to a lot of projects (see the GNOME project), but in lines of code it's the products that they open-sourced that make the big difference.
        • I'd suggest that Suse isn't small...
          • Novell never had rights to much of the Suse codebase... most of it came from the community and was simply included in the package called "Suse."
          • I'd suggest you're wrong. SUSE bundles work done by other people in the OSS community. They do add some nice features, bug fixes, and tools, but they produce nowhere near the weight of OSS code that Sun does. I'll put the LOC count of OpenSolaris code that Sun donated against the donations of SUSE any day. The ratio would be grossly unfair, and that's without counting Sun's many other contributions!
            • [citation needed]
              • [Edit] -> [Delete Citation Tag]

                Comment: Citations aren't needed for obvious facts that can be derived from existing facts. Read the definition for "Linux distribution" for more info. ;-)
    • So what is the point anyway? Can they hold a candle to VMWare and Xen? Please feel free to enlighten me.
      • Isn't this being added to their product that is already based on Xen?
        Aside from that - if you are interested in FOSS - then it now pays to be aware of what is going on with Sun. That was my main point.
      • xVM is Sun's name for their solaris-integrated Xen hypervisor [].
      • by Temkin ( 112574 )

        Solaris xVM is Xen. They can't call it that because Citrix bought Xen and the naming rights. Solaris xVM is getting pretty good. They're contributing to the various open source management tools & API's. One of the neat things that a Solaris Dom0 can do is actually catch the stack trace of the hypervisor when it fails. That's huge!

        Looks like VB has some interesting USB capabilities.
    • by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @07:10PM (#22412922) Journal
      You might have understated that. MySQL, Innotek, OpenSparc, OpenSolaris and other efforts, they may soon play a dominating role in the computing world that MS can only look at with envy.

      Even if it is mostly open or F/OSS, it still leaves MS with nothing to offer. Business, small and large will look at F/OSS software that is not only backed by a large OS maker, but also a large hardware maker with just as much desire as they do to MS now. Sun has been stacking the deck in their favor for quite some time and it's starting to look like a royal flush in there.

      Sure, you can quibble over the value of various items in Sun's stable, but it's nearly a complete stable. Not much of it, if any, is anywhere near as repulsive as Vista.

      Sun has opened their hardware (ish), opened the OS to enable use on different (reasonably priced) hardware, and are now picking up the applications that most businesses want to use, can use, or are already using.

      If IBM scared MS, they should now be afraid of Sun too.

      My point: MS is not the only 'we do it all' software house in the game. Sun is going from losing ground like a sieve to becoming a player that will upset MS's applecart.

      Yes, I wish the Solaris 10 SAMP stack was easier to work with, but it does work, and is getting better. It will be an alternative to RedHat and roll-your-own F/OSS, and will be another place to get support for your entire data center buildout. That means IBM **AND** Sun will both be in a position to outsell MS in the data center. Soon after that... well, lets just say I look forward to the MS good-bye party.
      • by Sanat ( 702 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @07:37PM (#22413252)
        I feel that Microsoft will always have a market, however I also sense that the open source movements including Sun will put a major roadblock in their present path of being the 800 lb monkey.

        These changes seem to be right in front of us in the now moment and we have a ringside seat to watch it all go down. The next few years are really going to be interesting and will be something that we can tell our children or our children's children about in the future years... how open source came of age and the mighty Goliath(s) fell.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        losing ground like a sieve
        Don't worry about it; that's just water over the bridge.
      • by g1zmo ( 315166 )

        Yes, I wish the Solaris 10 SAMP stack was easier to work with, but it does work, and is getting better.
        Veering off topic here, but as someone who makes a living setting up and maintaining Solaris and RHEL systems (among others) I'm interested to hear what you consider to be hard or inferior about AMP on Solaris 10 compared to RHEL.
        • g1zmo,
          I'm more than happy to accommodate in the hopes someone has a really fine website to show me where I'm wrong. I'm just really getting started on a process of upgrading a truckload of Sun E-250s and E-450s from Solaris 5.8. I'm starting out by building Solaris 10 on several boxes in hopes of creating a repeatable and stable SAMP build for the Ultrasparc architecture. Most of the code I handle at work is shell scripts and PERL. We use some Oracle but are switching to MySQL at the same time here. Yeah, I
          • OK... I may be out of line, but sounds like you need the help of a competent Solaris admin/developer.
            • Actually, yes, sort of. One that has installed 5.10 with a full SAMP stack without building everything locally on the machine. I'm near to the point of just building one set for the 250s and one set for the 450s by hand and using that. I had hoped that it was easier than doing things the gentoo method.

              I'm not dissing Solaris by the way, it's rock solid. I've got 5.8 boxes with years of uptime and zero complaints. It's the upgrade that is killing me. I have a need to move away from 32-bit hardware, into 64-b
      • Unless they've figured out a way to get Solaris on users' machines -- at home /and/ in the office -- without a mass exodus of twitching users frothing about how unfriendly Solaris is (or how they perceive it to be, which ultimately is just about the same thing for a user), that party's further off than you might like. I see this as SUN's positioning itself against Windows Server 2008/Longhorn's Virtualization features (VM and load balanced? Exchange-native? MS-centric businesses are practically shitting th
      • And don't forget about Netbeans as a competitor to Visual Studio.

        One place Microsoft has typically kept a lead is in providing simple, easy to use tools to allow quick development activities.

        Though many on /. will argue that applications built from these tools are usually inferior, because they allow fairly non-experienced people to quickly build apps, there is one point worth mentioning. Many companies grow via acquisition, and many of the businesses they acquire are really small 2-3 person shops. I kn

    • by pembo13 ( 770295 )
      IBM, Redhat and I hate to admit Novel, still do a lot more (as far as I can tell) that Sun when it comes to open source software.
      • by d3vi1 ( 710592 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:26PM (#22413836)
        Try looking a little harder. Sun contributed a lot more to open source than IBM or Novel or Red Hat. Most of it's contributions come from formerly proprietary software that was open sourced (OpenOffice, OpenSolaris, OpenJDK, etc.), but they also contribute a lot to projects such as Xorg, GNOME, Linux, Postgres, Samba, Xen, etc. Furthermore, there are projects started by Sun that from version 1 are open source (see OpenSPARC).
        Only the projects that I mentioned above contain more source code than Novel and IBM and RedHat ever contributed, and keep in mind that Sun contributes to a lot more projects.
        I really think that they are on the right track, even though they have occasional troubles (see the OOo contribution problem with the Novel folks, or the OpenDS issue).
        • by pembo13 ( 770295 )
          Okay, you are quite correct. I am in the wrong here.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          The following is a partial list of open source software that IBM either created outright, or has contributed to. You might be familiar with a couple of them.

          Abstract Machine Test Utility for Linux Common Criteria Certificate
          Abstract Machine Test Utility (AMTU) is an administrative utility to check whether the underlying protection mechanism of the hardware are still being enforced.

          AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications
          AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications contains a collection of open source and GNU software buil
        • Ah, but lets not forget about NFS.
  • Great news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unityofsaints ( 1213900 ) <> on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @06:51PM (#22412646) Homepage
    As a Vbox fan and user I welcome this move- I can see Virtualbox becoming a LOT more powerful in the medium to long-term future. Great performance virtualizing Sun products like Java and Eclipse would be sweet too. I like what Sun is doing in the opensource department, the OpenOffice 3 slide that turned up a few weeks ago looked very promising too!
    • I bet they are hoppin' mad that THEY didn't acquire innotek just to "cockblock" others. I use VirtualBox, and it's presence in the repositories made most timely my new laptop purchase, considering vista was on it and it would have been more of a hassle for me to legally get xp.

      VirtualBox is fantastic for me.

      For those who say ms has "nothing to offer", they sort-of do, but I understand that it was their hope to malign Linux and Mac through the hope that MS WINDOWS would be the host, and that users would see
    • Wait, what? I thought Eclipse was a competitor to Sun...

      In fact, I thought Eclipse was by IBM, for a very specific purpose. Why do you think it's called Eclipse? What does an eclipse do?
  • by blitzkrieg3 ( 995849 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @06:58PM (#22412750)
    Innotek... don't you mean Initech []?
  • I hope... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rix ( 54095 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @07:16PM (#22413000)
    They buy fire insurance before they start moving desks and taking people's staplers.
  • Wake me up when they acquire Innotrode.
  • Links (Score:4, Informative)

    by condition-label-red ( 657497 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2008 @08:14PM (#22413690) Homepage
    It would have been nice to have a link to Innotek [] and their product: VirtualBox []. Which I am pretty sure is not associated with the dog training products [] that Google ranks at the top of its search [].
  • They should have updated their OS X version of VirtualBox more often. I just switched to dual-booting my Macbook Pro with Linux (dead easy with rEFIt and Ubuntu), and I'm never going back from having the full use of my Geforce 8600 GTS available in Portal.
  • I've read a lot on the opensolaris forums about getting VMWare to work on Solaris -but I think this move is more to their advantage. VMWare is a closed-source application that they'll never really have control over -even if VMWare did agree to offer host support for Solaris. With Virtual Box all they need to do is get community support (and possibly import more components from qemu?) to add functionality onto the program while keeping control over the direction the program goes in.

    All they need to do is imp
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      All they need to do is implement Solaris host support and it would almost be perfect (disregarding speed issues with both solaris and virutal box, of course).

      Uhh.. it's already beta dude. Go to the Virtualbox web site and check the downloads.

      I keep preying they'll port it to one or more of the BSDs one day.
  • Hopefully, they'll open source the full version (with in box usb). I'd *love* to be able to sandbox xp (with webcam support)

    cheaply on linux. I sometimes baby sit a friends internet cafe over here (Athens, Greece) and most of my friends customers just use yahoo msgr as a video phone to the phillipines, sri lanka, egypt etc.

    Read that as tech illiterate i.e. "how do i switch on this machine?" so changing msgr or OS isn't so easy. Despite the "year of linux on washing machines" fandom I still can't switch th

  • I find it appropriate that the story icon is a red Swingline stapler.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb