‘Virtualization’ is a famous word everybody talks nowadays. There was a time only technical people were talking about server virtualization, storage virtualization, data centre virtualization and network virtualization but now we all started talking about Desktop virtualization. By the way, what is the use of desktop virtualization? Are you not missing its advantages?
Desktop virtualization software can help even an ordinary computer user in several ways. Desktop virtualization allows utilizing unused resources in your computer to create multiple virtual machines. Normally latest computers have powerful processors, more RAM and large space hard disks which are fully not used all the time.
What is Desktop Virtualization?
In understandable format desktop virtualization is like making virtual computers from existing physical computer resources. For example, we can create virtual computers from your computer RAM, hard disk, processors and other devices.
Allocating resources and creating virtual machines done by desktop virtualization software which will be running on physical computer operating System. Once virtual machine is created then it can be used as separate virtual computer inside your physical computer.
So, what’s the use of Desktop virtualization software products? It helps not only technical people but also all home users also.
What’s use of Desktop Virtualization?
1) It allows installing new, different and demo operating systems on same physical computer without disturbing existing OS.
2) Install and experiment any software in totally different computer. If anything goes wrong its only inside virtual machine which will not affect live computer. Do any kind of testing before go to live.
3) How about running Windows 98, Linux OS, Mac OS X, and Sun Solaris in your single Windows XP computer? Yes, it’s possible by desktop virtualization. It allows installing totally different multiple Operating systems on single computer no matter what operating system you are having.
4) It allows utilizing unused resources on your computer. Usually when you use a computer there will be lot of resources left unused by OS or programs. The recent computers have higher processor, more memory and large hard disks. You can uses these unused resources to create several virtual machines and use utilize physical computer well.
5) Save power, space, and money by having virtual machines. Also, desktop virtualization software helps to reduce heat. Can you imagine a situation to buy and keep another two computers in your room for testing purpose? Desktop virtualization does the same thing in a single computer without buying anything.
6) It’s free to use. Works faster than physical computer. There are so many options available to play around with virtual and physical machines.
7) Move, export and import virtual machines easily between different computers.
Technically each desktop virtualization software have more advantages to optimize and maximize the usage of virtual machines.
Available Desktop Virtualization Software
The following desktop virtualization software you can download and try for free in Windows environment.
It’s a free product from VMware with limited options from VMware workstation which is paid software. VMware is one of the leaders in desktop and Server virtualization products.
Do you want to run Mac OS X in X86 Windows XP PC by VMware Player? Then read here.
It’s another free product from VMware. It’s with limited options from VMware vSphere ESXi server which is paid Server virtualization software. But still VMware server can be run on PC.
It’s an open source desktop virtualization software owned by Oracle (earlier by Sun). Free to use for personal use and paid versions available for production use. Virtual machines work faster in VirtualBox compare to VMware products.
Read more here about sun VirtualBox advantages than VMware workstation.
It’s a free product from Microsoft. Mostly supports only Microsoft products as host and guest.
In desktop virtualization environment, ‘host’ means your physical computer and ‘Guest’ means virtual machine you installed inside desktop virtualization software.
Read more here about small introduction and comparison among free desktop virtualization products.
There are some paid advanced desktop virtualization software available.
It’s from VMware Company with more advanced features to VMware Player. It supports most of the operating systems (except Mac OS X officially) as guest.
Parallels is a famous vendor for Mac virtualization software. Parallels desktop for Mac is a leading Mac product for desktop virtualization. Their Windows version also quite good. Trial version can be downloaded before purchase.
It’s a new desktop virtualization product from Citrix. Recently Citrix acquired XenSource for virtualization technology. Download a trial version before purchase.
Desktop Virtualization Software may not be useful, if;
1) You don’t like to try new and different Operating systems, software and any experiments on computer.
2) You are scared to do anything on your computer. You are happy with routine IT works such as MS office use, internet use etc.
3) Your computer got less hardware resources. If your computer is already slow, then don’t try any virtualization software.
Desktop virtualization products are ideal for testing and experiments. It’s not only for technical people, as a home user you can try too. Don’t stick with same operating systems and software, go out and feel the different operating systems, new programs and open source products. Try and test new products in virtual machines without disturbing your existing operating systems by desktop virtualization software. Even if your screw up anything while testing, don’t worry, it’s only inside virtual machine.
I encourage subscribing to this blog which covers VMware workstation, VMware Player and Sun VirtualBox. So you will be in touch with desktop virtualization. Make use of desktop virtualization in your home PC and ‘ be an IT guy’.