Oracle has upped the ante when it comes to virtualization with the release of three new tools for building virtual infrastructure in the enterprise.
Oracle's new offerings are graphical utilities that allow both end users and ISVs to create pre-packaged virtual machines, and they're free to boot. One is open source and based on Oracle Enterprise Linux JeOS (Just enough OS). The other is for Oracle's Siebel CRM, and to top it all off its an extension of the Validated Configurations program for testing a stack for deployment.
JeOS, which was originally thought up by Canonical, basically means that users can whip up just enough of the Linux stack to support a particular set of applications. That allows both a high level of customization, but it's a system still backed up by enterprise-class support from your vendor, in this case Oracle.
The availability of a VM template builder means developers can create these slimmed-down implementations of Oracle Enterprise Linux (but not other versions of Linux) within a VM image. While Oracle is mostly touting it as a graphical utility, you can work from the command line too, if you're familiar with JeOS scripts.
The proprietary counterpart of the new VM template does much the same thing, but for Siebel CRM instead of Linux. All three offerings are free at this point, though a license is required to actually use Siebel CRM.
These releases come on the heels of Oracle acquiring the proprietary Virtual Iron, which it later killed, and this is the first big step into virtualization for Oracle since then.