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Author Topic: Virtualization Tools - What's Free, What's Not and What's it do?  (Read 5296 times)

Rover

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As a follow-up to a recent ICQ discussion, mouser asked someone (I volunteered) to write up the status of the Virtual Machine Software in the world today.  Or at least the world as we know it.  :P

VMware has several offerings, both Free and Not Free.  Their list of Free Virtualization Products can be found here:
http://www.vmware.co..._virtualization.html

The summary of which is:

VMware Player
- Run, share and evaluate pre-built applications and beta software in virtual machines with VMware Player.
- You cannot create VM's with the Player.

VMware Server
- Runs on Windows or Linux, i386 or x86_64
- Create Virtual Servers and/or Workstation (No sound support)
- VMware Server replaces VMware GSX which requires an Operating System to install.

VMTN Virtual Appliances
- Download pre-installed and pre-configured applications that run in a virtual machine. Provided by VMware partners.

NON-FREE VMware Products
VMware Workstation
Quote from: VMware
Use the VMware virtualization platform for development and testing and see immediate improvement in time to market, costs, and quality. Enterprise development organizations can consolidate servers and desktops used in test and development; copy exact multi-module production environment into virtual machines for testing; eliminate repetitive configuration tasks from development and testing cycles and simulate complex multi-tier applications on a single physical platform.

VMware ESX
This is VMware's serious enterprise stuff.  Create Virtual Servers and Manage Virtual Servers from your web browser.  Cluster physical servers to increase reliability.  Add VMotion to migrate Virtual Servers from one physical system to another while they are running.  Includes built-in cluster file system for simultainous access to data from different ESX Servers. 


Microsoft Vitrual Server 2005
Quote from: Microsoft
In conjunction with Windows Server 2003, Virtual Server 2005 R2 provides a virtualization platform that runs most major x86 operating systems in a guest environment, and is supported by Microsoft as a host for Windows Server operating systems and Windows Server System applications. Virtual Server 2005 R2's comprehensive COM API, in combination with the Virtual Hard Drive (VHD) format and support for virtual networking, provide administrators complete scripted control of portable, connected virtual machines and enable easy automation of deployment, and ongoing change and configuration.
Free.  Currently at Beta 2.  See more here: http://www.microsoft...lserver/default.mspx

Microsoft Virtual PC w/ SP1
Quote
Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is a powerful software virtualization solution that allows you to run multiple PC-based operating systems simultaneously on one workstation, providing a safety net to maintain compatibility with legacy applications while you migrate to a new operating system. It also saves reconfiguration time, so your support, development, and training staff can work more efficiently.
Free.  See the site: http://www.microsoft...rtualpc/default.mspx


From Xensource
Quote from: Website
Industry leading open source hypervisor virtualization technology. The Xen 3 hypervisor has the features and performance for production environments. Supports Intel VT, AMD Virtualization, 32-way SMP, PAE, and 64 bit addressing.
Free, but requires a modified kernel to run.

Also from Xensource
Xen Enterprise -
Quote
XenEnterprise™, the first commercially packaged and supported Xen solution, enables you to easily get Xen up and running. It’s an integrated package that includes a comprehensive tool set to simplify deployment, provisioning and management of a Xen-based virtual infrastructure.
Not Free.  See Xensource for details. 
http://www.xensource.com/products/


To Sum Up
VMware has 2 Free offerings:  A Player that plays pre-created Virutal Machines, and VMware Server, a free Server oriented virtualization product.  They also have VMware Workstation and ESX Server as commercial products.

Microsoft has a free Virtual Server and Virtual PC.

Xensource has a Free and and Commercial Enterprise version.

Virtualization is here to stay.  I have used VMware Server since the early betas and it is very fast and stable.
I have not used the others.  Give them a try and let us (all here at DC) know what you think.  :Thmbsup:

Please feel free to add or correct information here as needed.

[Edit Note: Thanks to Mouser for pointing out the Missing Virtual PC - d'oh!]
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« Last Edit: July 16, 2006, 11:34:30 PM by Rover »

mouser

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Re: Virtualization Tools - What's Free, What's Not and What's it do?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2006, 04:44:24 AM »
Don't forget parallels:
http://www.parallels.com/

Quote
Parallels Workstation is a powerful, easy to use, cost effective desktop virtualization solution that empowers PC users with the ability to create completely networked, fully portable, entirely independent virtual machines on a single physical machine.

Parallels Workstation 2.1 - $49.99

app103

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Re: Virtualization Tools - What's Free, What's Not and What's it do?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2006, 04:55:15 AM »
and Bochs(free/open source):

http://bochs.sourceforge.net

Quote
Bochs is a highly portable open source IA-32 (x86) PC emulator written in C++, that runs on most popular platforms. It includes emulation of the Intel x86 CPU, common I/O devices, and a custom BIOS. Currently, Bochs can be compiled to emulate a 386, 486, Pentium, Pentium Pro or AMD64 CPU, including optional MMX, SSE, SSE2 and 3DNow! instructions.
Bochs is capable of running most Operating Systems inside the emulation including Linux, DOS, Windows® 95/98 and Windows® NT/2000/XP.

tons of screenshots here:

http://bochs.sourcef...net/screenshots.html

f0dder

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Re: Virtualization Tools - What's Free, What's Not and What's it do?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2006, 07:01:45 AM »
And QEMU, which has a "kernel-mode acceleration module" for faster virtualization, whereas BOCHS does full emulation of all instructions (S L O W!)
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app103

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Re: Virtualization Tools - What's Free, What's Not and What's it do?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2006, 07:23:23 AM »
BOCHS does full emulation of all instructions (S L O W!)

I have heard that about it. But I have also heard that it is of more use to someone writing their own OS, rather than someone looking to run an OS virtually in order to try one out, or for testing applications on one.

f0dder

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Re: Virtualization Tools - What's Free, What's Not and What's it do?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2006, 07:30:37 AM »
BOCHS does full emulation of all instructions (S L O W!)

I have heard that about it. But I have also heard that it is of more use to someone writing their own OS, rather than someone looking to run an OS virtually in order to try one out, or for testing applications on one.
Indeed - since vmware and virtualpc can sometimes have problems with homebrewn kernels (mostly because of people doing things in somewhat "interesting" ways, though).

Bochs still has some bugs here and there though, and I bet QEMU does as well... you really need a couple of emulators as well as real hardware if you're doing OS development.
- carpe noctem

Rover

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Re: Virtualization Tools - What's Free, What's Not and What's it do?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2006, 07:06:27 PM »
Microsoft and XenSource Join Forces to Aid Server Virtualization
http://news.yahoo.co...MTA0cDJlYmhvBHNlYwM-
Quote from: the article
Microsoft is living up to its promise to reach out and build bridges with the
Linux and open-source community and will on July 18 announce a strategic relationship with XenSource for the development of technology to provide interoperability between Xen-enabled Linux and Windows Server virtualization.

The move means that when the technology is available, those enterprise customers deploying Novell's SuSE Linux or Red Hat Linux,would have two world-class virtualization solutions built to take advantage of all the things that Linux has to offer, along with the assurances around that, said Bob Muglia, the senior vice president for servers and tools at Microsoft, ahead of the announcement.
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wyrwolf

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Re: Virtualization Tools - What's Free, What's Not and What's it do?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2006, 01:18:31 AM »
Legacy gamers all seem to recommend DosBox - "a x86 emulator with DOS"

http://dosbox.source.../download.php?main=1

apparently there can be a LOT of problems running Legacy apps - particularly games and DOS apps, so DOS games get it double - under XP and Program Compatability and utils like res-o-matic and Slo'Mo can only do so much. I've run into it myself, a tiny solitaire game called Cruel that no matter what resists running on my XP machine.
It is what it is.