Virtualization became a hot topic in 2006 (although it has been around for something like 40 years on the mainframe side of the world). And, it looks like it might be the hot topic for 2007. Virtualization generally refers to a technology that lets you run two or more Operating Systems (OSes) simultaneously on a single platform. So, for example, you might be running Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows 98SE (for that old game that only runs on that OS), and a Linux distribution at the same time on the same physical PC or server. With powerful CPUs like the Intel Core 2 Duo and reasonably priced RAM, virtualization on a PCs is now a very realistic and reasonable thing to do even at home or in a small business.
Microsoft’s Bill Hilf explores this technology and explains…
…on Microsoft’s Port25 site. He discusses virtualization as a business strategy for Microsoft and Microsoft’s partnership with XenSource (the company that is the hub for the Open Source Xen virtualization project).
You can see the CentOS 4 Linux (community clone version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4) login screen running inside of Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Release Candidate in the (cropped) screen capture. Virtual PC 2007 Release Candidate itself is running on Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition. Linux runs just fine on top of its Virtual Machine. This Release Candiate became available on January 2. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Beta2 (quite a mouthful, eh) has been in testing since mid-2006. It has been very stable in my tests. Both products (and their current production versions) are free. So, grab some copies and start testing your Linux distros and old Windows versions on it ASAP.