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What is the best tool for virtualization - Virtual PC/VMware/Virtual Box

Posted on 2009-07-10
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What is the best tool for virtualization - Virtual PC/VMware/Virtual Box? Small explanation would be preferable.
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Question by:shourav
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Lee W, MVP earned 25 total points
ID: 24829673
Never used Virtual box and only occasionally heard of it.  But your question is incomplete.  VMWare has two different product lines - ESX(i) and VMWare Server.  These products operate differently and one is far superior to the other.

Basically, there are two major types of virtualization that can be used to run entire operating systems. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypervisor).

HyperV, ESXi, Xen are all Type 1 and can provide excellent performance.
Virtual PC, Virtual Server, VMWare Server, Virtual Box (based on the wikipedia link), are all Type 2 which will be MUCH slower.

One major advantage VMware CURRENTLY has over Microsoft is support for USB devices.  VMWare has generally proven a little faster than Microsoft in comparable platforms.  In addition, VMWare's ESX(i) server can share memory between VMs allowing more VMs per GB of RAM.  (Note: ESX is the commercial version, ESXi is the free version and they are functionally identical from everything I've heard, the difference is support.
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by:za_mkh
za_mkh earned 25 total points
ID: 24831515
And to unlock all the ESXi features to make it comparable to ESX means you have to buy a licence which unlocks all the good stuff , vMotion, Storage vMotion, DRS, DPM, HA, FT, etc, etc
ESXi is perfect for learning the stuff. XenServer also has an offering that is free and includes more features in the free version thant the VMWare equivalent ... if you are starting out ... check them both out ... XenServer will only get better ... and they are cheaper too at the moment..
But ESX / ESXi ... still the king!
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Author Closing Comment

by:shourav
ID: 31602379
Thanx guys. Both of your answers were helpful ... I've personally tested the  following 3 myself and here are my ratings:
VMware workstation 6.5    Best
VMware ESX                     Great
Virtual Box                         Good
Virtual PC                           Aweful (only good with their own products)

Thanx again. I'll be baack!!
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