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Sun Launches Virtual Assault

Sun has thrown a red flag in front of VMware and EMC by launching an assault on the virtualization market earlier this week, even though there remains a question mark over who will actually buy the technology.

The company used this week's Oracle OpenWorld event to thrash out an ambitious virtualization strategy, which involves $2 billion worth of R&D funding and the development of an open-source Sun hypervisor.

The xVM hypervisor, which was first discussed by Sun a few weeks ago, uses code from the Xen hypervisor and forms the heart of the vendor's virtualization push.

"In our xVM hypervisor is a very lightweight kernel," wrote Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz in his blog this week, explaining that the technology can support the Linux, Windows, and Solaris operating systems as guests.

Hypervisors, which let multiple operating systems run on the same piece of hardware, are at the core of virtualization products from XenSource and VMware, although not everyone thinks that the world needs another version of this technology.

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