Oracle (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?
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