Virtualisation

I hate to Pray… or worship…. especially non-existent creatures like God. But everytime I don’t attend a Pooja or refuse to enter a place of worship, I see the look of disappointment in my Parent’s face. I wish I could just load a Virtual “Me” who would go ahead and do all these awful things for me.
Better still, imagine having a few more virtual “Me”s so that I can try Pepe, Levi’s and Wrangler simultaneously and get over with the tedious task of buying a Jeans as soon as possible.

I think, Virtualisation is one of the most intriguing technologies among the sea of software innovations that surrounds us.

My first tryst with virtualisation was when I first used Vmware.
“A software computer !!!” That was my first impression. I was thoroughly impressed by the technology. Not so much with the fact that I could run an OS within an OS, but more so because I could decided how much RAM can be allocated by sliding a button. How cool was that ?!!

Sadly though, this was at a time when I used only Windows (unaware of the existence of Linux) and any new App held my attention for approximately 30 mins.
Here I am, a few years later and the full realization of what virtualisation means has just started hitting me !!!

The actual concept and theory behind virtualisation is not in the scope of this post, but I would like to leave the reader to dig more on the word “Hypervisor“.

An open source alternative to Vmware is VirtualBox. I have personally used it and although, frankly, it does not match up to Vmware, I think its pretty good.
Vmware also has an open source product, the Vmware player.

But recently, another player entered this market, Xen. It was recently acquired by Citrix , who now boast of end-to-end virtualisation solutions. Although it still maintains a homepage, its commercial website has been moved.

Finally, with the 2.6.20 kernel release sometime around Jan 2007, the kvm was introduced. The kernel developers, realizing the potential and need of virtualisation, added a kernel level support to aid the specialised hardware that had started proliferating the market.

As I mentioned earlier, I have already used Vmware ( only a few of its products , that too as Shareware) and VirtualBox. I know Xensource was part of Knoppix and even CentOS 5, but I never really got to using it. And kvm, is a topic I am immensely interested in and plan to keep track of it as part of my endeavour to keep abreast with this fascinating technology.

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