In the not so distant past, virtualization was still just a slow budding technology in a rapidly evolving IT environment. Back in the early years, VMWare dominated the hypervisor market, firmly entrenched on a throne perched high above the competition. Add a few years and a lot of growing pains, and you get some emerging challengers in the field. We talked about VMWare vs. Hyper- V andVMWare is still the reigning monarch of the market, but products like XenServer, VirtualBox, and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor (REVH) are knocking on the door. Check out how the competition stacks up.
Citrix XenServer is a bare-metal hypervisor that allows multiple operating systems to function on a single hardware host.With its release of XenServer 6.2, Citrix has firmly declared itself as rigorous competition for current industry leaders.The features of this hypervisor include live migration, high availability, and workload balancing, all of which are comparable to VMWare. The interesting twist is that these features were all previously available in the XenServer Platinum Edition, but Citrix decided to make this version freely available to the open source community in addition to providing a fully supported paid version. As experts indicate, an open source Citrix looks good beside VMware and the rest of the virtualization pack.
VirtualBox is a free hosted virtualization hypervisor. The price tag is Oracle’s biggest selling point at a whopping zero dollars. The features of this software include snapshots, live migration, and command-line options. It also has great cross-platform capabilities as it supports, Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Solaris operating systems. Free always has a sexy sort of ring to it, but usually comes with some kind of compromise. At this time, the general consensus is that VirtualBox is geared more towards advanced users who have the ability to tweak programming and runs slower than its competitors.
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor
REVH is a kernel-based product that has both bare-metal and hosted virtualization traits. Red Hat utilizes the Linux kernel itself as a hypervisor so that virtual machines have direct access to the hardware resources. Features like scalability, snapshots, and live migration are similar to other hypervisors. A distinctive feature for REVH is its self-service portal, which allows administrators to provision their own virtual machines. REHV doesn’t have some of the more sophisticated features that VMWare offers, but it is certainly a product worth keeping an eye on.
VMWare, an industry giant, is currently the most successful player in the field. While none of the aforementioned hypervisors have its shine and notoriety, each product can be considered a worthy alternative in its own way. The competition will only grow fiercer as the vendors behind these solutions and those we’ve yet to even hear of continue to master the craft. Grab a ring-side seat and enjoy the view as the fight for the virtual computing kingdom unfolds
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