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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Fun With Virtualization


Virtualization is one of the fastest growing and one of the coolest technologies in IT within the last few years. A great site to see virtualization news and information is vmwarez.com, from this site I found out that VMware is now offering their server for free. I decided to download the VMware Server on my Linux box. The installation was very simple, just a matter of running a perl script, (as long as the kernel sources and a C compiler are installed.) For my first virtual machine, I chose to install Windows 98 SE. Necessary? No. Cool [for a geek]? Yes. I was surprised how easy to create a new virtual machine really was, the VMware Server walks you through the actual setup part in a wizard, then it is just a matter of booting the virtual server from the CD and installing the OS. I was a little leery at first, as Windows had loaded its default VGA driver and I only got 16 colors, the mouse was also pretty touchy, but VMware has an easy solution for this as well; VMware Tools, it painlessly installs drivers on the guest OS that allows excellent video output and better mouse control. With VMware Server you also get many options with how you network your virtual machines, I set my virtual connection up as a bridged connection with my Linux host box. This way I can easily access the virtual machine from my Windows Laptop as well. That's right, I had a VNC connection from my Windows XP notebook to a virtual Windows 98 machine hosted on a Linux box, virtualization is great!


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