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As Sun Microsystems gets closer to the release of its xVM server virtualization platform, it's aiming to ease developers into the fold by spreading its lightweight desktop hypervisor around to hardware vendors.

Sun earlier this week said that inked new multi-year OEM agreements for VirtualBox with three new businesses.

VirtualBox is a hypervisor weighing in at under 20MB that lets developers run multiple operating systems side-by-side so that code can be more easily tested across Windows, Linux, Mac, and OpenSolaris. Sun picked up the technology from its acquisition of the German-based innotek (lower-case i and all) in February.

Sun signed Avanquest Software, Q-Layer and Zenith InfoTech to OEM deals for the code.

"Sun xVM VirtualBox has become hugely popular with developers and power users, and with a modular core that enables it to be embedded in many other solutions, xVM VirtualBox is expanding its reach to new audiences," said Steve Wilson, veep for xVM at Sun.

Avanquest Software plans to produce and publish VirtualBox bundled with OpenSolaris in retail outlets in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France.

Q-Layer plans to use the software to provide datacenter virtualization capabilities for its customers.

India-based Zenith Infotech, meanwhile, has made a network attached storage (NAS) appliance for small and medium businesses using Virtualbox.

Presently VirtualBox is available for free under a personal use license. OEMs can license an open-source version of VirtualBox under GPLv2 or under a commercial license. ®

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