Virtualization is taking over


At least in my web alerts. If I trust the news alerts I have setup with various websites and services on the Internet, words like Virtualization, Hypervisor, Xen and ESX Server dominate over my personal favorite “64-bit”.


 


And if you add VT and Pacifica (processor Virtualization support from Intel and AMD) to the equation, you get even more references and it almost feels like 64-bit is old stuff. I like that! 64-bit is marching on, leaving behind the old days of  hype and becomes more and more mainstream. My last 32-bit laptop (not Tablet) has been moved to a corner in my office. After receiving a Ferrari 4000 for testing from AMD and a dualcore EM64T desktop from Intel, my 32-bit days are certainly over.


 


Today is 64-bit, the future is virtual.


Below the figures from my various web search alerts from Aug 1st: 64-bit is in 20% of the searches, Virtualization in 45% and HPC in 35%. Clear indication where we are going. Picking up high performance computing (HPC) on our way, we are heading towards a virtual world, controlled by a Hypervisor.


 

Microsoft publicly announced plans to support Virtualization in the Longhorn timeframe, probably post Longhorn Server. Virtualization in Windows is already supported today with products like Virtual PC and Virtual Server. Both technologies require a full blown OS to provide a quasi virtual environment to host one or more guest OS “inside” a Windows host. But the development – Windows and non-Windows – is clearly moving away from a real OS as host, to a slim Hypervisor providing real abstraction from HW to enable multiple instances of one or many OS run concurrently side-by-side and fully protected from each other on one piece of hardware.

Comments (3)

  1. shaunbed says:

    Where can you find more information on Hypervisor?

    I am kind of curious how the concurrent side-by-side would be handled. How does this level of virtualization work with processor affinity issues? Will it effect optimal threadpooling? Having a server product have to compete with other operating systems it can’t even see raises interesting performance implications.

    It also raises some benefits. Perhaps you could run multiple operating systems and have all but one in sleep mode. If the main OS crashed, one of the others could awaken without a reboot.

  2. dglover says:

    huh, funny enough I posted something on Hypervisor today as well:-) It doesn’t answer all your questions but you may find some of the links useful. Cheers, Dave

    see http://blogs.msdn.com/dglover/archive/2005/08/12/450416.aspx

  3. VolkerW says:

    Hi Shaun,

    I suggest "Xen and the Art of Virtualization" at: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/papers/2003-xensosp.pdf. It is a real good paper to start with.