Virtualization solutions and softwares – The best and free
Well, Let me first give you an introduction to the concept of virtualization. What if you are allowed to install and operate a Linux operating system in your computer (which may be running on Windows operating system), without actually installing Linux on your computer? Similarly, think other way – you are on Linux now and you are allowed to test a new Windows 8 without really installing the same? Quite cool! huh! Well, Virtualization software’s are here in this world to make this happen. Lets take a look at an advantage offered by these solutions.
Consider the case, your office is fully “Linuxed” and some times you want to run an application that is written for Windows platforms and what will you do? If you are not aware of virtualization – you may install a separate Windows in your Linux machine and get the job done – right? And you know the time, effort and the aftermath this action brings in! Here virtualization tools can be of great help.
A virtualization tool creates a virtual machine in your existing computer – which will be like a new machine with all hardware components installed. So your newly created virtual machine will have a processor, mother boards, RAM, HDD etc. At the same time you can create more than one virtual machines and you can install applications of your choice to these virtual enviornment. Once the applications (it can be an operating system or some other things) are installed, you can start using them just like a new computer/machine.
Virtualization is of great use for testing lots of cross platform applications – it can save plenty of time and reduce costs. One important factor you must take into account is your hardware resources and its limitations . If you are on Windows 7 and a 2GB RAM – its not a good idea to virtualize your computer. But if you are on an 8GB RAM – then you can take 4GB or 6GB space extra to allocate to your virtual machine. Same is the case with HDD and processor capabilities.
Now lets take a look at some virtualizations tools available.
1. Vm Player
Vmplayer is a simple to install and easy to use virtualization software – where you can test cross platform applications and different operating systems. The disadvantage is limited functionality of the software and it doesn’t support folder sharing.
A simple to install vrtualization software from Oracle (developed by SUN) with lots of features and functionality compared to Vmware player. It supports many network features, OpenGl and DirectX support. You can add USB2.0 if you want as a separate guest addition.
This is a virtualization solution for UNIX base systems. It offers advanced controls and features and hence its obviously meant for advanced and experienced users in this field. Built in kernel support, flexibility and control are its key features.
The name itself speaks of “network” and associated functionalities. Vmware server is meant for advanced users and it offers Powerful network stack; ability to connect to remote hosts etc. The disadvantage is a complex setup process, no folder sharing etc.