Mac mini - you know there's a market
So... the next step... a revised Quad-Core >2GHz >4GB Apple Mac Mini running BARE-METAL hypervisor and there you have LOTS of happy customers. Small businesses and home-media-server needs would all be answered.
After nearly a year in beta testing and seven months after its bare metal hypervisor project went public in March, desktop and server virtualization software maker Parallels today launches its first bare metal hypervisor for servers. With Parallels Server 4 Bare Metal, Parallels joins the ranks of VMware, Citrix Systems, …
"support as many as 64 processor sockets ... (VMware's ESX Server 4.0 hypervisor ... can't come anywhere close to this ..."
I suspect only the large IBM/HP/Sun boxes support this number of sockets, which isn't exactly mass market. I bet most people buy machines with 2-4 sockets.
"With the bare metal hypervisor, it is running right on the iron and it is in theory more secure..."
So there's been no security warnings about VMs under XEN being able to see other VMs on the same box ?
And no-one's ever crashed one of these super-duper hypervisors, have they ? Oh I'm the only one, am I ?
"..and more efficient."
VMWare released a white paper a while ago comparing the speed of their ESX against a native/hardware virtualisation (i.e. using the processor extensions) Their conclusions: It depends. In some workloads the hardware virtualisation is faster, in others, the software is faster.
To be fair, it does seem cheap compared to VMWare.
All very nice, but what about the management tool suite?
What about being able to migrate a VM from one box of iron to another seamlessly and with no downtime?
What about recovery? Can it bring up a VM on another machine in the event of hardware failure?
There are some great hypervisors out there now, but without decent management tools they're pretty useless in large scale environments.
Timothy Prickett Morgan writes, "With Parallels Server 4 Bare Metal, Parallels joins the ranks of VMware, Citrix Systems, Microsoft, and Oracle (if you could its reworking of Xen and its Virtual Iron acquisition) in delivering a so-called type 1 or bare metal hypervisor for x64 servers."
Sun has a Xen based hypervisor which is available with OpenSolaris - perhaps the only Xen based hypervisor which is tied to Linux.
xVM hypervisor is implemented for x86 systems, based on the Xen open source code, and is available/supported under OpenSolaris 2009.06 as a fully supported (yes, you can pay for support) feature of OS. It provides features such as: a basic GUI and full command-line interface for guest management, live migration of guest images. There is full support available with OpenSolaris subscription.
Also, Sun has a CoolThreads based hypervisor called LDOMs. It is shipped with every T based server.
LDOMs is embedded into the firmware of the T based systems. Additional software packages can be downloaded, for free, that allows additional Logical Domains to be configured.
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