August 7, 2007 5:05 PM PDT

Dell likes Linux for virtualization

Dell likes Linux for virtualization
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SAN FRANCISCO--Linux is the key that will make virtual machines easier to build, according to Kevin Kettler, Dell's chief technical officer.

He spoke to an audience gathered for the LinuxWorld conference here at Moscone Center, addressing the growth of the open-source Linux operating system--which he said he hoped would hit $1 billion in licensing revenue by 2011--and what it means for both enterprise data centers, business computing and consumer applications.

Despite its recent growth, Linux is lagging in terms of the worldwide combined paid server operating system environments by Microsoft and others. Combining the use of Linux with virtualization is not such an odd pairing, rather, the two "play to one another very strongly," he said, particularly when it comes to the re-emerging trend of virtualization.

"To encourage use of Linux for virtual environments is to make an easier way to do virtual machines," he said.

Virtualization is when one computer runs several operating systems, or virtual machines. Dell said it would be embracing the virtualization trend again earlier this year.

Pairing Linux and virtualization to manage and consolidate enterprise data centers is something Dell is using back at home base. Three thousand of Dell's own servers run Linux, including its so-called mission-critical applications, such as the company's internal employee, supply chain and financial-management systems, Kettler said.

For business clients, the progress from last year's LinuxWorld has been remarkable, he said. Many of the CIOs he meets have concerns over security breaches from attacks on machines or a virus downloaded to a machine on their network, he said, and separate, virtual machines can limit the damage.

"What if you created a virtual machine that is an isolated Web-browsing machine?" Kettler asked. "If a machine is dedicated to Web browsing, and you've downloaded something you shouldn't have, you can kill this machine and restart it" separate from the other machines without also killing the rest of a user's work.

Having that capability on a desktop is "not far off," Kettler said.

For consumers, there are plenty of practical applications for virtual machines at home: on a single computer, consumers could have virtual machines dedicated to gaming, a media server, Web browsing and productivity, which is "a real opportunity" now and in the future for the Linux community to show its creativity, he said.

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7 comments

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Kinda like Windows on Mac via Parallels or VMware
I just couldn't help seeing the "parallel" here between Dell's take on
this and what we've been seeing on Macs running Parallel's virtual
machine to run Windows, and Linux...

Imitation is a form of flattery(?)
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
VM
This is not new technology and it was not invented on the MAC. Linux had VM tools in the market since the 90s and it wasn't even invented there. In this market Apple is not the inventor they just do a nice job of it. Plus the article was really related to servers and not personal machines.
Posted by ddrinf (5 comments )
Link Flag
HAHAHAHA
I love how Apple invented everything. That Edison guy who invented the lightbulb, you know, he only did what the Mac has been doing for at least a year now.

These apple guys think history started with the release of the ipod. It just cracks me up.
Posted by hellsyes (44 comments )
Link Flag
I have been
using VMware on Windows before Apple switched to the Intel platform.

I have Parallel 3 on my Macbook...it is HORRIBLE (super slow) compared to the new fusion. VMware owns this space and owns it on Linux, Windows, and soon on OS X.

I am a Mac fan but god get over youself...Imitation...yeah Apple imitates everyone else most of the time. The sad fact is Apple needs Fusion/Parallel to run the many..many Windows Apps.
Posted by Maclover1 (440 comments )
Link Flag
The game is being changed. Microsoft in trouble
This is the beginning of something big. Microsoft has no answer
for this. Linux is going to take off through the use of VMware and
virtual appliances.
Posted by viss9434 (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah
just like Linux fans have been saying for years.

Vwmare is run on Windows more than anything and more VM's are Windows VM's than anything.

Wake up please.
Posted by Maclover1 (440 comments )
Link Flag
Maybe if VMs ran full 3D apps . . .
I've run VMWare on Ubuntu Linux desktop to try and get some Windows programs I like going. Trouble is, few of them run because not even VMWare supports OpenGL. 3D apps like Google Sketchup. Video editing, which is a particular Linux weak point. And, of course, games. Sure there is supposed support for DirectX 9 but even that is spotty.

I have basically ended up waiting for native Linux apps to mature and replace my dependence on Windows apps. And you know what, that has actually happened already. Linux apps are maturing fast and now I don't even bother opening a VM anymore. I can now edit high def. video on Ubuntu using only FOSS software.

If and when VMWare and Xen and KVM get around to supporting OpenGL, I doubt if I'll need it anymore. Too little too late.
Posted by ArtInvent (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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