Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0

Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0 creates virtual machines in seconds

Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0
  • Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0
  • Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0
  • Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0
  • Expert Rating

    Not yet rated

Pros

  • Containers take very little space and are very quick to create; Excellent desktop and browser based management tools; Manage both Linux and Windows platforms from one place

Cons

  • Some aspects of Windows support are a bit behind the Linux version (eg Linux migration is fully live, while Windows will have a short bit of downtime)

Bottom Line

The only thing that might put you off is that virtuals are platform-specific - that is, you can only run Linux virtuals on Linux hosts and Windows ones on Windows hosts. But we really don't think that's a huge problem, since the majority of virtualised installations have multiple physical servers anyway - which means you just have to think about what host OS to install on each physical server

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

When I first came across Virtuozzo Containers 3 a couple of years ago, virtualisation was just beginning to become popular. With the advent of version 4, and of course the massive push so many organisations are making towards virtualisation, now seemed the time to look at the new version of the beast.

Traditionally, virtualisation has been achieved simply by plonking an emulator on top of an operating system, and then plonking another OS on top of the emulator. These days the approaches are much more elegant and efficient, with VMware and Xen/Citrix both moving toward having a "thin" operating system under the emulator instead of a socking great OS.

Virtuozzo Containers takes a different approach, though — and a really very cunning one. It sits on top of a full OS implementation (either Windows or Linux), but rather than presenting virtual machines hosting full "guest" operating systems, it instead simply virtualises the operating system as collections of virtual links. So you only have one copy of the OS installed, and then you define "containers"; each container is a partitioned set of links to the underlying OS APIs and drivers, which lets a number of separate virtual "containers" use a single underlying OS. This means that each container takes up just a few megabytes, as it's not a full OS install; it also means that it takes only a few seconds to add a virtual machine to your server, because all that's involved is making another set of the aforementioned few megs of links.

Virtuozzo runs on Windows (notably WS2003) and Linux (CentOS, Fedora, RHEL and SuSE). Because the "guest" operating systems are just links to the real OS, you can only run Windows virtuals on Windows and Linux virtuals on Linux — but that's really not a problem. Both the Windows and Linux versions run on 32- and 64-bit hardware. Additionally, the Linux 64-bit version can present both 64- and 32-bit virtual entities, while for the moment the 64-bit Windows version can only present its virtuals as 64-bit entities.

To install the system, you obviously need to begin with a suitable host OS. Then you run through the installer, which holds no requirement for a rocket science degree but which does take a while to download patches and updates once the basic package has been installed. Part of the setup process on the Windows version involves the installer configuring some "template" containers, to do which it asks you for the Windows Server CD; we found that it was very unhappy using a virtual CD via an ISO image; copying the files to a folder solved the problem, though.

Once everything's installed, you have two ways to manage Virtuozzo. Option 1 is the Management Console desktop application; option 2 is the new browser-based Parallels Infrastructure Manager ("PIM"), which in fact is the main new feature of the product. Both are completely platform agnostic — that is, you manage your Windows and Linux hosts from the same screens, using the same concepts and wizards. Parallels is making a big deal of the PIM interface, touting it not so much as a Virtuozzo management tool but as a general tool for managing your entire virtual server world — including VMware and Hyper-V. And in fact, we've seen a version of PIM that can also manage servers running Parallels' other virtualisation products. All of the above is for future release, though; the version we actually used in our lab was a Virtuozzo-only tool.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?