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IBM targets Sun, HP shops; Virtuous workstations

IBM sets up aggressive finance deals; the virtue of virtual workstations; other news. news in brief for September 15, 2010

IBM targets Oracle-Sun, HP users with finance offers

IBM last week launched new financing, offering special terms and deferred payments for customers who trade in their Oracle-Sun or Hewlett-Packard Systems for leased IBM Power-based servers.

Qualified customers can move to the IBM servers and defer payments, interest-free, on their leases until 2011.

The IBM Global Financing offer was just days before Oracle OpenWorld 2010 kicks off in San Francisco next week. This will be the first big Oracle show since the company finished its acquisition of Sun Microsystems and its hardware franchise in January.

IBM launched new Power Systems servers last month, specifically targeting Oracle-Sun users. Many Sun VARs that are actively evaluating alternative hardware since the Oracle acquisition, have lauded IBM's migration effort. Several see the Power Servers as the best replacement machines for Sun Sparc/Solaris customers.

Virtual workstation virtue: Less overhead

While server-based, hypervisor-based desktop virtualization is finally gaining offline support in VMware View 4.5 and the XenClient beta, workstation virtualization software has provided such offline support for some time -- without the infrastructure costs of server-hosted virtual desktops.

While server-hosted, hypervisor-reliant approaches from VMware and Citrix Systems provide security benefits and support the use of energy-efficient thin clients, they also incur big networking and storage infrastructure costs, according to So, users who don't need that top-flight security might be better served by virtual workstations.

Novell seeds cloud

Novell says its new Cloud Manager can run and control Xen, Hyper-V and VMware virtualized environments in a data center and convert them to Amazon Web Services-style, self-service cloud environments. (Novell says KVM support is coming.)

The new Novell Cloud Manager faces competition from Eucalyptus Systems, Abiquo and other companies, according to

The product is a response to Novell Inc. customers who wanted to be able to incrementally incorporate virtualization as it moved into their IT environments. The standalone product -- it preferably runs on its own server -- was designed to capture select groups of virtualized environments and rope them into one cloud.

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