Sun Microsystems Unleashes VirtualBox 3.0, Adds Many Server Virtualization Features

Sun Microsystems today announced a new version of Sun VirtualBox, its cross-platform virtualization software. VirtualBox 3.0 is capable of creating and running multi-processor virtual machines that can handle heavyweight server-class workloads, and also delivers enhanced graphics support for desktop-class workloads, reinforcing VirtualBox’s position as one of the world’s most popular virtualization platforms.

Many multi-threaded server-based workloads, such as database and Web applications, can benefit from Symmetric Multiple Processing (SMP) systems, which contain multiple CPUs. VirtualBox 3.0 can now support virtual SMP systems with up to 32 virtual CPUs (vCPUs) in a single virtual machine. With this major enhancement, VirtualBox software can be used to run not only desktop workloads on client or server systems, but also demanding server workloads.

A key component of Sun’s industry-leading desktop-to-datacenter virtualization portfolio, VirtualBox software has been rapidly growing in popularity, surpassing 14.5 million downloads and 4 million registrations worldwide, as well as more than 25,000 downloads a day. A mere 50 megabyte download, VirtualBox software is incredibly compact and efficient and installs in just a few minutes.

New server features of VirtualBox 3.0 software include:

  • Up to 32 vCPUs per guest to accommodate heavyweight data-processing workloads.
  • Hypervisor enhancements for SMP to enable optimum performance.
  • Updated API platform designed to be the basis of the community-driven VirtualBox Web Console project, which is coming soon to allow IT administrators to manage their datacenters from a Web console. This project is based on the popular Python language.

New desktop features of VirtualBox 3.0 software include:

  • Microsoft Direct3D support for Windows guests, which enables graphically intensive Windows applications, like computer modeling, 3D design and games software, to run in a virtual environment.
  • Support for version 2.0 of the Open Graphics Library (OpenGL) standard. As a result, high-performance Windows, Linux, Solaris(TM), and OpenSolaris(TM) graphical applications, which typically use graphical hardware acceleration, are able to run applications like Google Earth and CAM-based software on VirtualBox software.
  • Support for a wider range of USB devices, including storage devices, iPods and phones.

VirtualBox software is free of charge for personal use. For wider deployments within an organization, Enterprise subscriptions are also available, starting at $30 (USD) per user per year, which includes 24/7 premium support from Sun’s technical team. Discounts are available based on volume.

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