The Virtualization Practice

Tag Archive for Xen

In the fog of the datacenter virtualization war, it is difficult to see clearly who will end up on top, and yet the outcome is almost certainly determined, and the victorious generals are even now moving on to fight new battles. Here at the Virtualization Practice we too would like to think we can see through the fog to work out who has won, so here are our thoughts, take account of them as you wish. They concern, primarily, the big four protagonists: Microsoft/Hyper-V, Citrix /Xen, VMware/vSphere and Red Hat/KVM.

In trying to re-use some old server hardware I re-vsisted VirtualBox/Ubuntu, a viable and completely free Open Source option for non-virtualization-enabled hardware. It is a neat solution, simple and well-supported, but the open source version of VirtualBox is nobbled to make it extremely awkward to use, in a different way to VMware’s nobbling of the non-Open Source (but also free) ESXi.

Now is the time, for Oracle/Sun to put all the features of VirtualBox into the Open Source version, and let it live on, perhaps not for use on Linux servers, but as free virtualization platform for other operating systems on Windows. If Apple ever loosens up the licencing on MacOS, it could turn 15 million PCs into Macs – overnight.

The Linux Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) has been available for some time in, for example, Ubuntu 8.0.4 LTS (Released April 2008). KVM is widely used and stable and it is high time that Red Hat who acquired KVM when they purchased Qumranet in September 2008, started to move their customers onto it – at least to remove the uncertainty in the customer base.

There has been quite a bit of debate about SMB virtualization and what they want. However, no one has really looked into whether or not the SMB can afford virtualization. There is quite a bit of talk that says that the SMB wants everything for free, or that they will get immediate benefits from virtualization, but can they actually afford VMware, HyperV, XenServer, or KVM?