Wednesday, October 12, 2005

jumping on the virtualisation bandwagon

Is virtualisation the next wave of true computing or just the recent hype that technologist are throwing at system buyers? Why are we all jumping to believe that its the way things should be implemented now? Back to the earlier post, less than 2 years ago, open source and linux wasn't a viable option and now it is. Virtulisation isn't mature technology, if youre talking about pseudo virtualisation, then maybe, but definately not on the enterprise level.

So what makes virtualisation more popular than open source, or have we learnt from our mistakes and suddenly willing to take any risks? I think its commercialisation as in how much money can you make from it. Industry is still driven by vendors isn't it?

Mature commercial virtualisation has massive overheads. A couple of examples is that it does not handle resources effectively as what essentially happens is that you are running one operating system on top on another.

To get things into perspective of system performance, you might have heard of embedded system. These are scaled down no nonsense operating systems that do only what they are built to do only. these lean mean simple machines may have limited functionality, but do these functions really quick.

The proportional speed chart is as follows (not considering hardware speed)

Fast -> Usable -> Sloppy
Embedded OS -> tweaked operating system -> default operating system

So what happens when you run another OS on top of a default operating system? you get a really ineffective machine isn't it?

This is probably how most people will deploy virutalisation to production.

layer 4 - Production Application
layer 3 - Guest Operating System
layer 2 - Virtual Application Layer
layer 1 - Default Host Operating System

So far, we only mentioned performance and not even talked about other potential risks like resource contention, but of course, your vendor has already mentioned that unlike other products, ours is safe.

If you want to learn more about virtualisation, read "Xen and the art of virtualisation". Doesn't the title just grab you? Warning, its open source. It talks about the maturity of current solutions and highlights the risks involved

Now for my beloved home user readers. How can virtulisation benefit them? Here are some people I would suspect will enjoy running a virtual machine on their home computers

a. Hobbists and enthuisasts
b. People who do not have a whole lot of strange perliherals
c. People frustrated with windows
d. people who have some strange habit of destroying their operating system, start using virtual ones and make copies
e. do you have kids? refer to point d.
f. bored people, you reading this aren't you
g. wannabe geeks


Aaron Lee said...

I wanna virtual gameboy to run on PC!

btw, youz still getting spam.

Melven said...

You will need a game boy emulator that runs on PC.

Can't help with the spam these days other than deleting them

dead pi

Well, I guess it has to happen at some point. the home automation raspberry pi has died. Much to do with the stupid Strontium mini SD card. ...