The Rise of the Virtual Machines

OS virtualization can ease management tasks but offers other challenges.

While operating system virtualization isnt a new concept—big-iron vendors such as IBM have offered hardware partitioning for some time now—interest in this sort of virtualization has heated up in recent months.

Driving this interest is a proliferation of new virtualization products and technologies that promise to bring security, consolidation and testing benefits to a wider audience—specifically, to organizations running high-volume platforms such as x86 and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s AMD64.

eWEEK Labs is bullish on operating system virtualization and its potential to boost IT organizations infrastructure flexibility and stretch IT dollars. However, as with any hot technology trend, virtualization carries its share of new challenges, not the least of which are software licensing and system management complexity.

Were tracking two types of operating system virtualization technologies: those that provide a sandbox on a host operating system within which applications can run and those that virtualize an entire operating system instance.

Next Page: Sandboxes.