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Old 23rd January, 2009, 07:04 PM
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 Gets Virtual

Written by Daniel
Friday, 23 January 2009
The new release is capable of implementing virtual machines on the largest x86 instruction set servers, including those with 126 CPUs and a terabyte of main memory.

By Charles Babcock
InformationWeek
January 23, 2009 12:30 PM

Linux can support larger virtual machines in the recent 5.3 release of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) Enterprise Linux and has gained the latest Java open source technology in place of Sun's proprietary Java SDK. [Front page...]
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Old 23rd January, 2009, 08:04 PM
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Can someone explain virtualization to me? I was reading a Dell magazine about Windoes Server 2008 virtualization and its sounds pretty cool.
I'm just curious how I could use it in the future at work/home/etc.
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Old 23rd January, 2009, 08:58 PM
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Virtualization simply allows you to create multiple 'pretend' or 'virtual' machines on your physical machine. It's real utility is for situations where you have an application that, for compatibility reasons, has to run in it's own environment. Typically in the past, this was done by putting it on it's own server. With the increasing horsepower of servers, though, this creates the situation where a lot of server hardware is being underutilized (i.e. basically running idle most of the time).

Server virtualization allows you to take some number of physical machines that are running at low load, and consolidate them into one physical machine running multiple 'virtual machines'. This means that each software application THINKS it is running in its own dedicated environment, when in fact it is running on hardware that is shared across multiple environments. By doing this, you make the software happy, while making maximum use of your hardware.

Of course, as with all tools, you have to make sure that you aren't stupid. Keeping the CPU at %100 load across 5 virtual servers with critical tasks running will result in poor response for all tasks, so you have to be smart about what you virtualize. But properly done, it can create a lot of cost savings.
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Old 23rd January, 2009, 10:18 PM
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So it sounds a bit like Terminal Services where users can log into a server and have their own documents & settings, but instead they would have their own computer and programs that they installed.

Say in a small business, would it be possible to run virtual machines from a monitor/mouse/keyboard instead of separate workstations?
So instead of purchasing 10 computers for the office we would have monitor/mouse/keyboard and they log into the virtual machines on the server....
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