Comparing Free Virtualization Products

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1 A S P E I T Tr a i n i n g Comparing Free Virtualization Products A WHITE PAPER PREPARED FOR ASPE BY TONY UNGRUHE toll-free:

2 Comparing Free Virtualization Products In this paper I take a quick look at some of the best free virtualization products available. System requirements are included for each. Remember, you must have enough memory to run the host operating system, plus the memory required for each guest operating system and for applications on the host and guest. So, most of the numbers listed will be a starting point. You also will want to look at your guest operating system and application documentation for their memory requirements. VMware Player Hardware: 1 GHz or faster processor (2GHz recommended); 1GB RAM minimum (2GB RAM recommended); 150MB disk space. VMware Player runs on both Linux and Windows hosts, and can run both VMware and Microsoft VM images. VMware Player 3.0 includes the ability to make VMs. One caution, VMware Player is not designed to co- install with other VMware products. (However, if you purchase and install VMware Workstation 7, VMware Player is included.) If you have an operating system or application that you want to try out, VMware s Virtual Appliance Marketplace may have what you need. It literally has thousands of VMs with pre- installed operating systems and applications. Many of these are provided by software vendors. Depending on what you are looking for, you may find a free solution here. On the down side, VMware Player lacks many powerful features, such as Teams, multiple Snapshots and Clones, or Virtual Rights Management features. If you need these features then you will need to look at VMware s other products. VMware has a 136- page guide for installing guest operating systems. It includes details for all the different guest operating systems, both 32- bit and 64- bit support. There are too many to mention here. VMware Server Host operating systems for VMware Server includes: From Windows 2000 Server up to the latest Windows Server Certain Linux distributions are supported such as: Mandriva Corporate Server, Red Hat Enterprise, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Ubuntu ASPE Page 1

3 VMware provides 32- bit and 64- bit support for both the hosts and guests. See the chart below: 32 Bit CPU 64 Bit CPU Host OS 32-bit Guest OS 64-bit Guest OS 32-bit Host OS Supported Not Supported 64-bit Host OS Not Supported Not Supported 32-bit Host OS Supported Supported 64-bit Host OS Supported Supported Hardware requirements: Standard x86- compatible or x86-64compatible server with up to 16 processors. Hosts with 32- bit IA- 32 processors and IA- 32 processors with 64- bit extensions are supported. 733MHz or faster CPU minimum. You must have a minimum of 512MB of memory (2GB is recommended) and at least 1.7GB free disk space is required for the basic installation. VMware Server s user guide provides instructions, and in many cases step- by- step guides, for setting up the following devices: Hard Disk, CD/DVD Drives, Floppy Drives, Pass- through (Generic) SCSI Devices, SCSI Controllers, USB Controllers and Devices, Sound, Serial Ports, Parallel Ports and keyboard Mapping for Linux Hosts. VMware Server 2.0 comes with a web- based management interface. You can also use the VMware Remote Console to access your virtual machines. VMware Server supports snapshots, using the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). As stated for VMware Player, Virtual appliances are available from the Virtual Appliance Marketplace. It is easy to get a jump start with a system already setup and configured to work. Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Virtual PC 2007 is Microsoft s desktop virtualization product. Virtual PC 2007 requires a 400 MHz Pentium- compatible processor (1.0 GHz or faster recommended), and requires approximately 35 MB of disk space. Supported host operating systems include: Windows Vista (Business, Enterprise, Ultimate) including SP1, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) ASPE Page 2

4 Compatible Guest operating systems include: Windows NT Server, Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003 Windows Vista (Ultimate, Enterprise, Business), Windows XP (Professional, Home Edition), Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 98 Second Edition, OS/2 Warp 4 OS/2 Fixpack 15, OS/2 Warp Convenience Pack 1, and OS/2 Warp Convenience Pack 2, MS- DOS 6.22, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows NT 4.0 Workstation. Now, with that said, I have also run Windows Server 2008 on Virtual PC It is a buyers beware situation though, not supported by Microsoft. Virtual PC 07 has no support for USB devices and does not have snapshot capability. Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 Microsoft s primary virtualization offering for Windows Server 2003 hosts. Hardware requirements: 512 MHz minimum processor (1GHz or higher recommended); 256 MB RAM minimum; 2 GB disk space. It provides 64- bit host support but no support for 64- bit guests. Although primarily built for Server 2003 host, other supported host systems are: 32- bit Host Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003 Standard Enterprise Datacenter Edition with Service Pack 2 or later, Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Premium Edition or later, for non- production use only - - Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista (Ultimate, Business, Enterprise). 64- bit Host Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003 x64 (Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter) Edition with Service Pack 2 or later; For non- production use only - - Windows XP Professional x64 and Windows Vista (Ultimate, Business, Enterprise) Virtual Server 2005 R2 supports Windows Server guests as well as the popular enterprise Linux OSs. Supported versions are: Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Standard Web Edition with Service Pack 2, OS/2 4.5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (2.1, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0,9.0), SuSE Linux (10.0,10.1,10.2,9.3), SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (10.0,9.0), Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Windows 2000 Server, Windows NT Server 4.0 with Service Pack 6a, Windows Server 2008 (Core, Standard, Datacenter, Enterprise, Small Business), Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition or later, Windows Vista (Business, Enterprise, Ultimate) (Including SP1), Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3 (SP3),Windows XP SP2 Server 2005 R2 supports USB input devices only. Oracle VM Oracle VM Server is based upon an updated version of the underlying Xen hypervisor technology, and includes Oracle VM Agent. Oracle Server VM is a bare metal VM. Installing Oracle VM Server deletes any previous operating system and data on the computer. You then 2010 ASPE Page 3

5 use Oracle VM Manager to manage virtual machines on the Oracle VM Server. With it you can create virtual machines from installation media or from a virtual machine template, delete, power off, upload, deploy and perform live migration of virtual machines. The Oracle VM software is free. Oracle has different support plans for which it charges a fee. Hardware: Oracle VM requires a 32 or 64 bit host, with at least an i686- class processor. For unmodified guest operating systems, a CPU with hardware virtualization support is required. Guest operating system support includes: Oracle Enterprise Linux 4 and 5; RHEL3, RHEL4 and RHEL5; Windows 2008 SP1, Windows Vista, Windows 2003, Windows XP Pro, and Windows 2000 are supported on hardware virtualization (Intel VT or AMD- V) capable hardware; Oracle VM offers paravirtualized Windows drivers for Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. VirtualBox VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh and OpenSolaris hosts. VirtualBox comes in both a commercial and a free version. Hardware requirements: X86 hardware, at least 512 MB of RAM, and typical installation approx. 30 MB memory. Guest operating systems include: Windows (all editions including 64- bit versions) NT 4.0, Windows 2000 / XP / Server 2003 / Vista / Server 2008 / Windows 7, DOS / Windows 3.x / 95 / 98 / ME, Linux 2.4, Linux 2.6 ( or higher recommended), Solaris 10, OpenSolaris Fully supported (32 bits and 64 bits), FreeBSD (Requires hardware virtualization to be enabled),openbsd (Requires hardware virtualization to be enabled) Versions 3.7 and later are supported, OS/2 Warp 4.5. Starting with version 2.0, VirtualBox supports 64- bit guest operating systems. Starting with version 2.1, you can even run 64- bit guests on a 32- bit host operating system. In particular, 64- bit guests are supported under the following conditions: You need a 64- bit processor with hardware virtualization support You must enable hardware virtualization for the particular VM for which you want 64- bit support; software virtualization is not supported for 64- bit VMs. If you want to use 64- bit guest support on a 32- bit host operating system, you must also select a 64- bit operating system for the particular VM. VirtualBox VMs provide support for audio, USB, iscsi and has the capability to take snapshots. VirtualBox has an extensive help file included with the product, covering every aspect from complex to simple tasks ASPE Page 4

6 Xen Xen is an open- source, hypervisor- based virtualization product. The Xen hypervisor is a bare metal hypervisor. The Xen hypervisor is a layer of software running directly on the computer hardware, replacing the operating system. Hardware: Xen hypervisor can run on a wide variety of computing devices including support for x86, x86-64, Itanium, Power PC, and ARM processors. Guest operating systems support includes: Linux, NetBSD, FreeBSD, Solaris, Windows, and other common operating systems. Xen supports live migration of VM s between physical hosts. Microsoft Hyper-V Server Hyper- V is bundled with certain editions of Windows Server 2008, making it free for Server 2008 customers. It is also available as a stand- alone hyper- visor product. Hyper- V is Microsoft s top of the line hypervisor. It requires an x64 processor with Intel VT or AMD- V technology enabled. Also, Hardware Data Execution Prevention (DEP), specifically Intel XD bit (execute disable bit) or AMD NX bit (no execute bit), must be available and enabled. Processor speed of 2 GHz or faster is recommended. Other hardware requirements includ 2 GB RAM or greater and a minimum of 8 GB Available disk space (20 GB or greater recommended). As far as guest operating systems, Hyper- V supports both server and client OSs. For server operating systems, the following are supported: All of the Microsoft Server Class OS s are supported, both 32 bit and 64 bit. Certain Linux distributions are supported, such as, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 with Service Pack 1 (or later) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.2 or later (32bit and 64 bit). For client operating systems, Microsoft has stayed close to home, advertising support only for its own Windows 7, VISTA and XP professional operating systems ASPE Page 5

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