Oracle Buys Virtual Iron to Beef Up its Virtualization Software

logoOracle (s ORCL) today said it would buy Virtual Iron, a startup that has built a suite of virtualization software based on the Xen hypervisor. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but Virtual Iron has raised more than $65 million in venture capital. The company’s products compete against VMWare (s vmw), Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Hyper-V and Citrix (s CTXS) XenServer. But it’s odd that Oracle, with its own Xen-based hypervisor, and as the soon-to-be owner of Sun’s xVM virtualization products (which also include a Xen-based hypervisor), felt the need for a third virtualization product. Is it cobbling all of these different hypervisors and software together for a full-on assualt on the virtualization market?

Cisco’s Data Center Play Reinvents The Server

Today Cisco (s csc0) announced its much awaited data center play with what it calls its Unified Computing System. Om does a great job explaining why the networking giant is moving into the data center as the demands of digital data tax the current three-part IT infrastructure of servers, networks and storage.

The current infrastructure is showing its age, so three years ago Cisco set out to address the problems with its Unified Computing System. The end device is a reinvention of the server by looking at it as part of the network fabric and not as a discrete element attached to the network. Read More about Cisco’s Data Center Play Reinvents The Server

Citrix Aims to Make Enterprise-Friendly Clouds

With VMware and Citrix both pushing into the data center with their virtualization products, I had the chance to chat with Simon Crosby briefly about Citrix’s new portfolio of cloud products. I walked away impressed with Citrix’s plan of attack when it comes to helping providers make cloud computing compelling for enterprise customers. Citrix’s approach won’t solve issues related to the physical location of data or problems with varied platforms, but does address compliance, security and latency issues. Read More about Citrix Aims to Make Enterprise-Friendly Clouds

Desktop Virtualization: Where Thin Clients Meet the Cloud

Today the organization behind the popular Xen open-source hypervisor announced the latest release of its virtualization software. It’s smaller, has better power management and graphics capabilities, and can run on machines ranging from servers to laptops and mobile phones.

Also, Nortel announced today a product it calls an “office-on-a-stick.” I would call it a virtualized desktop. Nortel joins companies large and small pushing products that can replicate your computer and information anywhere on computers, thin clients and even cell phones. Desktop virtualization competitors MokaFive, Citrix, VMware, Microsoft, Desktone and Pano Logic are trying to grow the market as well. Read More about Desktop Virtualization: Where Thin Clients Meet the Cloud

Citrix Can’t Stay Xen as Microsoft Launches Hyper-V

After today’s launch of Microsoft’s server virtualization hypervisor, Citrix, which bought virtualization company XenSource last year, may be asking itself some hard questions. Microsoft’s Hyper-V will compete directly with Citrix’s XenSource products for the data center as well as with products from VMware and startup Virtual Iron.

But Citrix and Microsoft have close enough ties that the move by Redmond into data center virtualization may be akin to your sister stealing your boyfriend. And that could strain their relationship. Industry players have claimed that Citrix may be ready to let Microsoft get away with the theft, and focus instead on the PC virtualization market. Others disagree. I plan to ask Citrix about its Xen business next week when I talk to Simon Crosby, the CTO of Citrix’s virtualization business. Read More about Citrix Can’t Stay Xen as Microsoft Launches Hyper-V

VMware Buys B-hive for Performance Scans

Virtualization superstar VMware said today it would purchase Israeli startup B-hive Networks for an undisclosed amount. The B-hive team will form the base of VMware’s development center in Israel and give VMware a better way to track performance among virtualized machines.

Typically, performance mapping and monitoring software measures how well servers talk to one another, but in a virtualized environment, that gets more difficult. Instead, one needs to measure how well information gets from one virtualized machine to another. B-hive’s Conductor software helps track how fast and well data flows, from the end-user perspective, in both virtualized and physical environments, and can automatically adjust the server environment to deal with bottlenecks. B-hive raised $7 million in September 2006 from Index Ventures and Venrock Associates.

B-hive works in both VMware and Citrix XenServer environments, so I don’t know what will happen to Xen support after the deal closes. VMware has been an active buyer of virtualization startups in the last year. While it holds a huge lead over its competitors, it’s good to see it staying on the ball when it comes to adding features and services. This leaves Akorri and Netuitive as potential pickings for Citrix or Microsoft.

3 Questions for MokaFive Founder John Whaley

Desktop virtualization is far from a new topic, in fact it dates back to the inception of the client-server model. But there are still virtualization startups out there, among them Redwood City, Calif.-based MokaFive, which is gunning for a chance to go up against Microsoft, IBM and Citrix with its own desktop-in-the-cloud model, which debuts on Tuesday.

I chatted with MokaFive founder and CTO John Whaley about what makes MokaFive’s model different from that of its competitors, and how reliable a desktop-in-the-cloud might be.

Read More about 3 Questions for MokaFive Founder John Whaley

Sun Buys VirtualBox Virtualization Software

If only it were green. That’s what I found myself thinking after Sun Microsystems said it’s paid an undisclosed amount for Innotek, the makers of open-source desktop virtualization software VirtualBox Virtual Machine. With an earth-friendly spin, Innoteck could have created a trifecta of buzzwords that would have really pumped up its valuation.

However open source (please recall Sun just spent $1 billion buying open source database guru MySQL) and virtualization (think VMWare’s buy of Thinstall in January), are plenty good, especially given that Citrix paid $500 million for open source server virtualization company XenSource. For those of you wondering who might be next, think about Parallels (formerly known as SWSoft), whose software competes against VirtualBox.