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SearchWin2k.com: Put many operating systems under one roof

Oct 25, 2001, 23:04 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jan Stafford)
"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 computing?
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."

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