PermaLink Virtualization rocks!05/31/2008 08:34 PM
I am delighted to have lived long enough to see the current trend in virtualization.  With all the virtual-host products out there, everything from Parallels to VMWare to Sun xVM/VirtualBox, the old fights about what hardware can and should run what OS are becoming pretty pointless now.

I run Mac OSX most of the time at home.  Well, pretty damn near ALL the time, really.  However, I also have three different virtualization products installed on this big MacBook Pro (beefed up with a 320-gig hard drive to replace the anemic 100-gigger it shipped with).  VMWare, Parallels Desktop and now the free Sun xVM/VirtualBox.  I run everything from DOS to Windows98 to XP to Solaris to Linux to ReactOS on the thing, all happily churning away and eating CPU cycles underneath.  Do I really care what OS supports what app?  No.  Not any more.

I don't think anybody should.  Gone are (or should be) the days when you "have to" run Windows just because you think you "have to" run Microsoft Orifice.  Get off it.  OpenOffice/NeoOffice are just as solid, and free.  IBM/Lotus Symphony is legit, and works well.  You can run most of these on a multiplicity of OS platforms, and the old addiction to Microsoft (or anyone else) is just misplaced these days.  Office itself has become a bloated, non-compatible mess designed to generate money for Redmond, not results for users.

Get off it.

Get off anything specific.

Get a beefy machine if you don't already have one, and run whatever the hell works best, not just the thing you've been cowed into using by timid, unimaginative managers or old, dusty habit.

Wasn't this what Java was supposed to bring us?  Write once, run anywhere?

Well, now it's for real.  Go play.

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1. Curt Carlson06/01/2008 08:14:42 AM

I have been drinking from the VM spring for a while and it certainly has its place in today's computing environments. However it is not without its problems. At its very core it encourages the breaking of the cardinal rule of IT “Always work to reduce your single points of failure”. That alone is a show stopper for me, but it also comes with the baggage of having to close all VMs in order to do maintenance on the host OS. Managing resources can become a nightmare when deploying products who strongly suggest dedicated hardware. Can you say IBM?
Virtualization is very cool but must be very carefully planned for production servers, otherwise a single outage or hardware failure can affect many more users than in environments where all the eggs are not in one basket.

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