Feeds

Sun to virtualize boxes, storage and NICs with 'Project Virginia'

Wait till you see Baked Alaska

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Sun Microsystems will soon extend its virtualization ambitions via something code-named Project Virginia.

CEO Jonathan Schwartz has hinted at Project Virginia a couple of times without providing any real detail on the technology. Sadly, we can't make up for Schwartz's reticence with any grand information revelation. But we are able to dish a few tidbits on this virtualization play.

First off, Virginia will unite Sun's many server virtualization efforts that include the long-standing Solaris Containers and fresher work around the Xen-based x86 xVM hypervisor and the upcoming Etude technology. Etude, in part, provides a path for customers to run Solaris 8 applications on top of Solaris 10.

Sun's Solaris hawker Marc Hamilton explained Etude in a bog post.

To date . . . Solaris Containers have only supported applications that are already running Solaris 10. So Sun engineers developed something called BrandZ . BrandZ is a framework that extends the Solaris Containers infrastructure to create Branded Containers, which are containers (also called zones) that contain non-native operating environments. The term "non-native" is intentionally vague, as the infrastructure allows for the creation of a wide range of operating environments. So without going into the exact details just yet of how the Solaris 8 Migration Assistant works, it does utilize the BrandZ technology in Solaris to allow Solaris 8 applications to run in a Solaris 10 container.

Virginia also ties together Sun's various storage virtualization efforts, including its homegrown - please ignore, NetApp employees - ZFS file system and the recently acquired Lustre file system.

Then, there's a network virtualization element as well that comes from Sun's Crossbow technology for slicing up NICs to manage bandwidth between applications.

As far as we understand it, all of these technologies will soon be controlled in one place by a revamped version of Sun's N1 management software.

As Schwartz mentioned last week, Sun's virtualization play will now cover Windows in addition to Solaris and Linux.

If past performances are any indication, Sun will announce this broad virtualization management project soon but actually deliver it much, much later. (We're willing to be proved wrong here.)

Should Sun actually have all these pieces lined up, it stands to show off one of the most complete virtualization architectures on the market. No other company seems capable of digging as deep into server, storage and networking at the same time.

Open source aficionados - and you can only call yourself that after listening to this - will be pleased to learn that Sun plans to turn over the Virginia code.

We're most curious about how N1 handles all of this, as the management software has been one of Sun's least thrilling rides in recent years. N1 sounded great when Sun first unveiled it after the Terraspring acquisition in 2002. Since then, we've seen Sun do precious little on the multi-vendor and application management front. In the meantime, HP has acquired stuff like Opsware while a host of start-ups in this market have started to tie themselves to VMware.

As mentioned, we won't suggest this is any more than a skeleton of Project Virginia and await more detail on the code. Do tell. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.