Feeds

Virtualisation for Beginners

It's not just for server jockeys, you know

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Both VMware and Parallels also allow you run the whole guest operating system either as a single entity in its own window, or full screen, which makes it look as if it owns the entire machine. In conjunction with the Mac OS X Spaces feature - a way of flicking immediately between virtual desktops with the touch of a key combination or a mouse gesture - this is a great way to switch almost instantly between multiple operating systems.

Virtualisation for Beginners

YouTube HD running smoothly on Windows 7 in a VirtualBox VM under Ubuntu Linux

One other side benefit of virtualisation should appeal to anyone who runs lengthy processes on their machine. It seems to happen all too often that you're re-encoding a movie as a background process, when you need to reboot your machine, to install a system update, say, or fix a hardware problem. If the conversion is running on the host operating system you'll either have to wait until it's finished, or stop it and start all over again from scratch. But if it's running in a virtual machine, you just suspend the virtual machine and then reboot the host or whatever else you have to do. When you restart the virtual machine, the compilation will pick up from exactly where you left it.

With a sufficiently powerful processor, running multiple guest operating systems becomes feasible. Virtualisation has a performance impact, of course - if you're thinking of using it for gaming, for instance, dream on - but for office and straight graphics work my Intel Core 2 Quad easily runs Ubuntu Linux, Windows 7 and Windows XP in separate VMs under Snow Leopard. ®

VirtualBox

Sun's VirtualBox is a free virtualisation utility available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It lacks some of the finer features of VMWare and Parallels, but otherwise does an excellent job.

VirtualBox on Linux depends on modules that need to be compiled especially for the particular kernel in use. But if you're using one of the current common Linux distributions you should be able to find your distribution-specific package here.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us
And Commish is VERY pro-Google. Why should we worry?
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.