Eye on Oracle

Jun 22 2009   7:48PM GMT

Is Virtual Iron virtually gone?

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

A few months ago when we examined whether Oracle could be a contender in the virtualization wars, experts said that the company faced an uphill battle if it continued to refuse offering support for third-party virtualization software.  They also noted that Oracle would most likely buy Virtual Iron to compliment its own Oracle VM.

It looks like they were right.

Just over a month after buying the virtualization software vendor Virtual Iron, Oracle has announced that it will be getting rid of the company’s products.  According to an article in The Register, Oracle said in a letter to Virtual Iron’s sales partners that it “will suspend development of existing Virtual Iron products and will suspend delivery of orders to new customers.”

While this may not come as a surprise to many, it’s interesting that Oracle has decided to forgo what keeping Virtual Iron could have brought to the table in terms of products for small and medium-sized companies.

Also interesting, as The Register‘s Carl Metz points out, is that Oracle would risk losing Virtual Iron customers and partners, who will be justifiably unhappy upon hearing this news.  Oracle stated that after the end of this month it will not allow partners to sell new licenses to anyone, even existing customers.

Do you think it’s unfair to Virtual Iron customers and irresponsible for Oracle to slash VI’s  products with such short notice? While Virtual Iron customers can move to Oracle’s new combined product, Oracle has yet to say when it will be arriving, or what the combined product will actually be.

And is this any indication of what Oracle will do with Sun’s virtualization products? With its acquisition of Sun, Oracle will get Sun’s entire virtualization portfolio namely Sun xVM.  Sun xVM, like Oracle (and Virtual Iron), is based on the Xen hypervisor, making it easier for Oracle to combine products.

It should be interesting to see how Oracle’s virtualization plans develop over the coming months, and if it will prove effective in competing against virtualization kingpin, VMware.

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