Choosing tools for effective virtualization

Xen Source

Xen Source Server used to be a Linux virtualization solution that was very close to the VMware concept. Citrix recently acquired Xen Source. The server product, which is now know as Citrix Xen Server, is still a Linux system at its core. Unfortunately, the Citrix Xen Server command bridge, which is known as Xen Center, has been transformed into a Windows-only application (Figure 2). One point worthy of notice is that Xen now has a live migration feature, XenMotion, which resembles VMware's VMotion.

Figure 2: XenCenter, the Citrix Xen Server command center, only runs on Windows.
Figure 3: VirtualBox supports either Windows or Linux guests.
Figure 4: KVM is popular with both users and kernel developers.
Figure 5: Tracking virtual systems with Virtual Machine Manager.
Figure 6: Monitor your virtual environment with Virtuozzo.

Conclusions

Linux virtualization has entered the real world, and the choice of tools comes down to real-world questions of stability, efficiency, and management. The commercial vendors, with their well-integrated, graphical controls, are currently the major contenders. On the other hand, a single host is easily managed through less sophisticated alternatives.

Before choosing a virtualization system, take a careful look at your needs and build a comprehensive solution that is easy to manage, monitor, and deploy. Also, leave yourself room to grow, because you're no longer limited by the size of your server room.

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