Last week (April 8 2009) Sun released a new version of VirtualBox: 2.2.0. Here is the news message:
Sun today released VirtualBox 2.2.0 which marks another major milestone for the world’s most popular free and open source hypervisor. Among the many improvements are support for OVF appliances, 3D acceleration for Linux/Solaris guests and support for up to 16GB of RAM per virtual machine. See the ChangeLog for a list of changes since VirtualBox 2.1.
So what is virtualbox anyway? VirtualBox is a group of x86-virtualization products servicing home and professional users. The key here is that it is open source and it is published under the GNU GPL (General Public License).
VirtualBox run’s on top of an Operating System (it supports multiple Host OS’s from Windows to Linux) and therefore is a non-bare metal hypervisor or as some colleagues of mine tend to say a “Software Hypervisor”. Among support for different host operating systems it also supports a diversity of guest operating systems.
The availability of support for OVF in VirtualBox shows the popularity of virtual appliances usage. It won’t be long before every self respecting company offering a virtualization solution will offer OVF support.
But imagine what the impact will be on software development, where as a software developer you now also are responsible for configuring the OS – a JEOS (Just Enough OS) – where in the past you only where responsible for writing a setup/integration manual. Testing will become easier (no more testing with different OS configurations )with delivering an app as a virtual appliance, given of course you’re not also delivering the app in the old fashioned way. On the other hand testing will now include testing the OS configuration, as now the JEOS is part of the “product”.
Feel free to comment 🙂 …