Virtual machines

I’ve spent the last two days learning about VMWare ESX. I’m attending a 4 day training session where I’m learning how to virtualize servers of all flavors. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn new skills. My Linux background has been a help. VMWare ESX actually is built on a Red Hat Linux kernel that loads the VM Ware machine at startup. The ESX install actually looked very familiar to a Red Hat user. Virtualization of servers and desktops can save money and of course use less power resources. There is a green component to this after all.

VMWare has some great tools that can be downloaded and you can experiment for free. I’ve been experimenting with desktop virtualization for several years. I’ve deployed the K12 Linux Terminal Server at my work and I volunteered my time last year to set up a K12 Linux Terminal Server at the Town Hall here in Franklinville, New York. VMWare is a bit different. Until now you’ve probably had a Windows desktop or laptop or if you’re a little geeky maybe a Linux desktop. Two computers can be expensive and maybe you just don’t have the room to store two physical machines. Virtualization allows me and you to have one physical machine with a number of virtual machines inside that one machine. There are number of products on the market but at present VMWare seems to be in the lead.

VMWare has two free products that will let you experiment with virtualization on a Linux or Windows host. You can download them here. If you’re running Debian or Ubuntu Linux you can download and install Automatix. Automatix comes with two virtualization products you can experiment with Virtual Box and VMWare. VMWare has a complete selection of pre-configured virtual appliances that you can download at the Virtual Appliance Marketplace.