But Oracle isn't betting the entire farm on VirtualBox. Oracle VDI 3.2 remains open to third-party hypervisor offerings, which means Oracle is including support for Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware VI3, and VMware vSphere 4. However, support only extends to these third-party hypervisor platforms as a virtualization layer in the VDI solution. Support seems to be limited when it comes to the guest operating systems running within the virtual desktops themselves, and therein lies the rub.
According to Oracle documentation, only Microsoft Windows 7, Vista Enterprise, and Windows XP SP2 and higher are supported across each of these virtualization platform choices. Beyond those guest operating systems, Oracle will only provide support for Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4, Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.5, Ubuntu 9.04/10.04, and Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 on Oracle VM VirtualBox instances. Translation: if you want to run a mixed environment of Windows and Linux VMs or just run Linux VMs on this Oracle VDI solution, you better be prepared to do so on VirtualBox -- that is, if you want full support from Oracle.
This may not prove to be that big of a distraction for Oracle as most virtual machines in the industry appear to be running Windows operating systems anyway. However, if Oracle wants to compete with its VDI, providing broader support for Linux guest operating systems might be in order.
In another notable first, version 3.2 finally says good-bye to the Sun name and hello to Oracle, as it becomes Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. The new name also comes with an Oracle-branded look and feel.
It seems as though Oracle is finally ready to commit to becoming a key player in the virtualization market. But honestly, they still have a ways to go. They need to execute, validate, and prove out their solution with metrics and customer success stories before they go around town claiming to have the industry's most complete virtualization portfolio. Walk before you run. This looks to be a good start, but it certainly isn't the end of the race.
This story, "Oracle broadens its desktop virtualization reach with VDI 3.2," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.