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Sun xVM Ops Center – Round One in Sun's IT Management Platform Ambitions

Sun announced what I’d call it’s first step in building an IT management platform, Sun xVM Ops Center. While most of the attention will be on the word “virtualization,” it’s important to keep in mind that Ops Center isn’t only for virtualization management. Sure, that’s part of it: but working with, if not managing virtualization is just what’s expected now.

Microsoft’s dreams that virtualization will be just another commodified part of the stack sound more real as time goes one: it’s sort of the same sentiment that open source isn’t a big, wagging deal now-a-days, it’s just how (most new) software is done.

xVM Ops Center Functionality

To that end, check out Sun’s list of what Ops Center does:

Key Features

Again, for me, the important thing is that Sun is pulling together it’s existing IT management offerings into a more unified suite that handles “normal,” physical IT and “new and hip,” virtualized IT. Sun N1 and Sun Connection (their Aduva acquisition) are being rolled into Ops Center (and presumably end-of-lifed as stand-alone products). With the xVM technology – assuming all the stuff actually works – this means xVM Ops Center is “mature” when it comes to virtualization and provisioning with the exception that Windows virtualization isn’t available right now.


Provisioning is the interesting angle here as most IT management platforms I follow – with the exception of Microsoft – don’t place too much emphasis on it. To me “provisioning” means installing and configuring the software and settings on computers. People usually like to separate server provisioning from desktop provisioning, mostly along the angle of servers being more important – yeah, to admins, but not to the desktop users ;>

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(Older demo of Sun Connection)

When we talked with Sun’s Oren Teich last week, he gave us some impressive momentum figures and facts for Sun Connect/Aduva which included 1,000’s of computers under management and heterogeneous environments (that is, Sun Connect with Solaris and Linix). I’d be curious how Sun Connect stacks up next to Puppet. The Puppet philosophy is slightly different than raw provisioning, but it addresses the same problem.

Relative to the IT Management Landscape

Now, Sun has a lot of catching up to do in the general IT management area. The perception is largely that Sun IT management manages Sun stuff – Solaris, SPARC, etc. That said, with the re-surgence of Solaris fandom I’ve been seeing this year, being the source for Solaris and Linux management would be a good long-term strategy toe-hold for Sun. The most important thing is to work on covering Windows as well. Getting those three OS silos covered, along with the open source angle, would give Sun a nicely unique position. At that point, the challenge would “just” be delivering code that works and selling it.


Also of interest, pulling from the Sun Connection is the whole SaaS angle. I neglected to ask Oren about the SaaS legacy when it comes to rolling Sun Connection into xVM Ops Center. Nonetheless, the important thing to note is that Sun is a lot more open to SaaS based IT management than existing vendors: most of them start babbling about paying attention to “customer requests,” security, and other “nevermind that”‘s when you mention SaaS.


Rounding out the interestingnesses of the xVM Ops Center launch, as mentioned elsewhere sometime ago, this will be the first open source offering from Sun released under the GPLv3.

Disclaimer: Sun is a client, as is Microsoft’s STB group.

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Categories: The Analyst Life.

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5 Responses

  1. Puppet is really a configuration management tool, not a provisionning system. Sure, you can provision application and services with puppet, but only after you have installed the OS on your server. The way I see it, Sun Connection seems more like a replacement for kickstart, autoyast, jumpstart, yum, up2date, etc… The xVM Ops Center features list include "Configuration management". I'm curious to see what it does exactly.

  2. That was also my question (see comments)

    Definitly something that the community could integrate into openxvm.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] the Hyperic/MySQL partnership to figure out. I’m guessing Sun would rather see their own IT management stack, Sun xVM Ops Center, cross-selling there, if not now, in the […]

  2. […] are storing all of their customers IT assets up in the cloud. Splunk, Paglo, the SaaS version of Sun’s xVM, Canonical’s Landscape, and SourceLabs as well. From a different domain, Genuitec’s […]

  3. […] Sun hasn’t either, but before the virtualization wave, Sun seemed to be going for it with OpsCenter. Since then, virtualization – with their own xVM hyper-visor – has been of more interest to Sun. […]