Open source virtualization

As I mentioned in my previous post I spend this weekend working on rebuilding my home desktop.  You will be happy to note that my VPN connection is now working.  Following the install I decided to test out VirtualBox an OSS (Open-source software) desktop virtualization product that holds some promise to compete with VMware.  All I can say is WOW!  I am a VirtualBox convert, as I am sure most OSS junkies will be.  The product is a snap to install and while I have no idea how it will run on Windows the install on Linux was simpler than my previous VMware install and the footprint is lighter.  VirtualBox only loads a single deamon vs VMware’s three daemons, this is important to me since I only start my VM when the use of Windows is absolutely necessary (aka – a dyer situation).  Of course I did some poking around and found this benchmark of VMware vs. VirtualBox:

  native VirtualBox Vmware
make 64:03 min 107:29 min 101:40 min
grep (100 MByte) 6,7 s 20,2 s 18,1 s

Courtesy of a German review of VirtualBox – (http://www.heise.de/open/artikel/83678)

Right now I am very happy with VirtualBox and I think that we will see VirtualBox become more pervasive in the OSS community and now that QEMU is open sourced other desktop OSS virtualization products based on QEMU may pop up and erode some of the market for commercial x86 products.  I think desktop products like VirtualBox will begin to take a grass roots hold long before products like Xen compete in the corporate data center.  After all I remember back to when I first loaded VMware Workstation 3 on my RedHat 7.3 machine, the delight of being able to run pesky Windows apps without dual booting. I felt a twinge of that same feeling when VirtualBox installed and worked in less than 2 minutes.  After all, in my opinion Linux user looking to run Windows apps were instrumental in putting VMware on the map, is a possible that there is now an OSS alternative knocking on the door of the VMware desktop community?  When will workstation go the way of VMware GSX – FREE?  How long can VMware hold on to the desktop without becoming free?  Eventually all hypervisors will need to be free – it should be interesting to watch.

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