Open Source Virtualization

2012-11-23by Christa Joe

Open source virtualization is newly introduced and fused concept of two separate technologies, Virtualization and open-source technology which describes the long term favourables of this concept.

Virtualization provides the benefits of greater process agility and resource management by logically locating differnet resources on a single machine whenever required. Open-source is a different standard which allows the modifications and alterations in the structure or code of the technology, described under open source standard. Open source virtualization is actually the introduction of open-source as a new trend in the concept of virtualization. This concept provides great advantages and in deployment cost, it also brings excellent extensibility in changing code for different requirements.

Different type of hypervisors or virtualization softwares and technologies are available described below:

  • OpenVZ: Its a container-based, operating system level virtualization technology based on Linux kernel and Linux operating system. It's an inexpensive standard for all customers and flexible technologies, which exclusively adds various resources like memory, disk space or other resources without rebooting the system.
  • KVM: Expanded as Kernel-based Virtual Machine, is a full virtualization solution for x86 hardware type. KVM supports loading of unchanged Windows and Linux disk images for providing different OSs virtually. Each VM thus created have its own private virtualized hardware resources like network card, graphics card etc.
  • Xen: It supports paravirtualization and hardware assisted virtualization for modified and un-modified guest OSs. The physical device drivers rely on Linux kernel or other patched OS to provide the virtual support for devices. This allows developers not to write device drivers for each OS.
  • Lguests: It is also another paravirtualization solution which allows different copies of same kernel to run alongside each other. None of the instance thus created interferes with the resources of the other and allows the regressive use of the same kernel.
  • VirtualBox: It's a cross-platform, full virtualization app which can be used on a variety of OSs and can be used on servers as well. It comes in two version as: Open source version and Closed source version. The closed source version has some extended features like RDP and USB support which the open source lacks.

One of the major applications of this concept is in designing a cloud computing strategy for a business. Giant cloud vendors offer customized cloud services for businesses by deploying large number of resources. This method is both time consuming and expensive. With open-source virtualization, the time of initiating a customized service and cost of providing the service are lowered by a considerable amount due to the open-source nature of the service.

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Christa Joe

Christa Joe is the author of this article. She has been writing articles for many offshore IT companies like Q3 Technologies. Moreover, she has been actively involved in providing useful content writing material related to Infrastructure services.

For more details, feel free to visit http://www.q3tech.com

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