Latest Sun Ray Shines Light on a Virtual Oracle

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted Jun 2, 2010

Former Sun desktop virtualization users likely put any lingering fears to rest this week when Oracle announced enhancements Wednesday to its Sun Ray client and the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. The Sun Ray client now supports Windows 7 virtual desktops and is Energy Star 5.0 compliant.

Virtually Speaking: Following on its recent release of VirtualBox, Oracle is now refreshing the Sun Ray client and the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

The Oracle Sun Ray 3 Plus Client is the latest addition to the Sun Ray Client family, as well as a new release of the Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure software. Both products are being rolled into Oracle's desktop virtualization portfolio. It joins Oracle Secure Global Desktop and Oracle VM VirtualBox, which is alive and kicking, having been recently refreshed itself.

The Sun Ray client is ideal for desktop virtualization, as it was built from the ground up to display a server-hosted desktop. The Sun Ray client is bare metal -- no OS or storage. The machines are managed centrally and can run server-hosted Windows, Linux and Oracle Solaris desktops.

Because the Sun Ray clients are controlled centrally, they are less-expensive to manage and maintain. They are also easier to secure.

In addition to support for Windows 7 and its energy compliance, Sun Ray clients now provide native support for up to two 30-inch displays with 2560 x 1600 resolution; faster I/O, thanks to Gigabit Ethernet (Copper or Fiber) and USB 2.0; increased security due to native support for fiber optic networking via an SPF connection module that provides a more secure environment than traditional copper Ethernet.

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) also refreshed the software at this time. Version 3.1.1 of Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure also adds Windows 7 support such that it can be used as a virtual desktop operating system, VLAN support for Hyper-V and the latest Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2 host.

The latter further confirms that Oracle is indeed not dumping VirtualBox. Its intent to keep it was made clear with last month's release and rebranding of version 3.2.0. Going forward, VirtualBox will be known as Oracle VM VirtualBox. Key additions are experimental support for Mac OS X Server guests, memory ballooning to dynamically increase or decrease the amount of RAM a virtual machine uses, CPU hot-plugging for Linux (and certain Windows guests, various new hypervisor functionality, the ability to delete snapshots while the VM is running, and support for multi-monitor guest setups in the GUI for Windows guests and more. Since then, Oracle has released 3.2.2.

Another thing is certain: Oracle is rapidly becoming a formidable foe in the virtualization space. The players are rapidly changing. Is your organization keeping pace?

Amy Newman is the senior managing editor of ServerWatch and Enterprise IT Planet. She has been covering virtualization since 2001, and is the coauthor of Practical Virtualization Solutions, published by Pearson in October 2009.

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