Sun Releases Cross-platform Desktop Virtualization Software

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Sun Microsystems this week rolled out version 2.0 of its xVM VirtualBox, a cross-platform, open source desktop virtualization suite that supports hosts ranging from Mac OS X and Windows to Solaris and 18 varieties of Linux. According to Sun, the software in all versions has surpassed 6.5 million downloads worldwide, averaging about 15,000 per day.

Sun acquired VirtualBox when the company bought out German software developer innotek. VirtualBox runs on Mac OS X (Intel), Linux, Windows, and OpenSolaris hosts and supports a wide range of guest operating systems, from DOS to Windows Server 2008 and everything in between, along with OpenBSD, Linux, OS/2 Warp, and others. Under Sun, the software is available in two editions: a standard edition and and open source edition. Both are free.

New in version 2.0 is support for 64-bit versions of various operating systems and overall performance improvements, especially, according to Sun, on AMD chips. It also offers improved networking on Mac OS X and Solaris, as well as a new user interface for Mac OS X specifically. A complete list of features can be found here.

"Sun xVM VirtualBox software continues to dominate the desktop virtualization space with over 6.5 million downloads to date and rave reviews from press and customers. Now with xVM VirtualBox 2.0 software and the new enterprise subscription, customers can confidently roll out xVM VirtualBox software across their business," said Steve Wilson, vice president, xVM, Sun Microsystems, in a statement released Thursday. "Virtual desktops, such as those provided by the xVM VirtualBox software, are the future of business desktops because they are more flexible, manageable and secure than traditional PC architectures. Enterprises will be thrilled with the xVM VirtualBox platform because it provides them an easier way to deliver a standard operating environment across their enterprises."

An SDK for version 2.0 has also been released.

Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0 is available now for Mac OS X (all versions, Intel hardware only), Windows (32- and 64-bit XP, Vista, and Server 2003 and 2008), Linux (several flavors), and Solaris (32- and 64-bit, OpenSolaris build 81 and higher, Solaris 10 OS 5/08 and higher). A complete list of supported hosts is available here. Enterprise subscriptions (which start at $30 per year per user) and OEM licenses are also available.

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About the author:David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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