Transitive Offers Solaris/SPARC Apps on Windows

Enterprises planning to deploy Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor for virtualization can now run SPARC-based Solaris applications on their x86 Windows servers without porting or recompiling, thanks to QuickTransit, a solution from cross-platform virtualization solutions provider Transitive.

QuickTransit supports 64-bit distribution, so it runs on Solaris x86. Once QuickTransit has been installed, enterprises can install or copy SPARC-based applications onto the x86 server. The applications will run the same way on the x86 server as they did on the more expensive SPARC servers without requiring a recompile.

For Linux operating systems, QuickTransit runs on either Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) Enterprise Linux 4 or 5, or on Novell’s (NASDAQ: NOVL) SUSE Linux 9 and 10, Robinson said. Enterprises that want to consolidate their servers can install QuickTransit in a Hyper-V, VMware (NYSE: VMW) or Xen hypervisor running on one of these flavors of Linux.

“The benefit of Hyper-V is it’s now available as an option on Windows machines, so, in addition to straight up application migration, you get low-cost disaster recovery and high availability, and you can consolidate your Solaris applications onto less expensive Windows boxes,” Transitive vice president of marketing Ian Robinson told

Users of 64-bit Oracle applications will be among the first to benefit. Oracle uses Sun’s Solaris 10 operating system as its preferred development and runtime for most x64 architectures.

Backup and disaster recovery operations must be conducted with VMware’s or Microsoft’s applications because “we just bring legacy applications into the fold,” Robinson said. QuickTransit extends VMware’s disaster recovery tools’ capabilities to Solaris and SPARC applications, which they previously could not handle.

There are three flavors of QuickTransit: QuickTransit Server, Transitive’s mainstream data consolidation solution; QuickTransit Legacy, which is for application re-hosting from very old legacy hardware running operating system versions that are no longer supported; and QuickTransit Workstation, for desktops and laptops.

QuickTransit Server runs applications from SPARC-based servers running Solaris 8 or higher, which are still being supported by Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA). For older applications, such as Solaris 2.5.1 or 2.6, enterprises have to use QuickTransit Legacy.

Transit’s support for Hyper-V highlights the hypervisor’s increasing acceptance within the market, especially in light of the turmoil at market leader VMware, whose CEO, Diane Greene, abruptly departed recently.

Microsoft unveiled Hyper-V earlier than expected, and recently made it available on Windows Update, which means it will be pushed down automatically to Windows Server 2008 servers depending on their settings.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has also released the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 3.1 for Hyper-V to manufacturing. Known as MAP, this is a network-wide agentless tool that helps enterprises discover their desktops and servers.

MAP 3.1 also automatically generates upgrade recommendations for various products and technologies. It covers Hyper-V, SQL Server, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Office 2007 assessments and, in some cases, discovery.

The toolkit also provides SNMP reporting. This is important because major complex networks are managed today with SNMP.

Microsoft casts a longer shadow

Microsoft’s aggressive approach with Hyper-V comes as no surprise to Mitch Northcutt, a senior vice president at IT infrastructure consultancy GlassHouse Technologies. “I’ve remember the days when Lotus Notes had most of the market share and Exchange and Outlook weren’t very good and were a couple of generations behind Notes, and look at where they are now,” he said.

Hyper-V will gain “significant market share’ because it has a compelling price point, Northcutt added. Available at $25 a seat, Hyper-V will “bring virtualization into the low end of the market, which could not afford VMware’s offerings,” Transitive’s Robinson said.

Still, Microsoft’s ascent will not mean VMware’s demise. “The opportunity’s huge, and both Microsoft and VMware could keep going for a long time even if they split the market,” Northcutt said. “Right now, VMware’s so far out ahead that it’s not funny, and Microsoft will take some time to catch up.”

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