"Yesteryear's enterprise computing environment
resembled a planet. Today, it looks like a solar system. Instead of
yesterday's monolithic system, enterprises today run many OSes and
applications on many devices in many locations. Now, a revived
technology -- virtual computing -- can create a sort of
interstellar link that unites independent applications, devices,
and operating systems in one management world.
Until recently, anyone who wanted to unite all the worlds
operating within one enterprise had to rely on patchwork solutions.
For example, Windows emulators, like WINE, make it possible to run
some Windows applications on Linux. Another approach complements
storage virtualization to create a single environment, according to
Diane Greene, CEO of Palo Alto, CA-based virtualization software
developer VMware Inc. In this searchWindowsManageability interview,
Greene explains how virtual computing differs from other approaches
and why it's a boon for IT managers.
What is the difference between emulation and virtual
An emulator translates machine instructions into other
instructions. For instance, you could be emulating a SPARC
instruction working on an Intel machine. WINE is software that
emulates all the Windows calls, so that Windows applications can
run on Linux.
If you virtualize an architecture and directly execute the
instruction, you can achieve a higher level of performance and have
multiple virtual machines running simultaneously. Once you have a
virtual machine you can run any operating system you want on it.
That gives you more flexibility and at less cost."