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NewsForge: Linux virtual machines aren't just for the big boys anymore

Jan 17, 2002, 20:40 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Grant Gross)
"The concept of virtual machines -- sometimes called virtualization, virtual environments or virtual servers -- isn't particularly new, with IBM's VM operating system debuting 20-plus years ago. (The term "virtual machine" is also used to describe a VMware product that allows Linux and Windows to run side by side on a single machine.) But it's gaining popularity as companies seek to rein in hardware and management costs, and in some cases, reduce rent paid for the space to house huge server farms.

VMware, SWsoft and Ensim -- are pitching Linux VM-like technology for companies that can't afford a $1 million-plus IBM zSeries mainframe. There's even a Linux kernel-related project announced this fall that allows "virtual private servers" in Linux. Other companies pitch technology such as virtual databases.

ConsultingTimes.com has an mpeg download of the Heist commercial, plus a recent cost comparison of IBM's setup vs. Microsoft Exchange. The article suggests the IBM solution may not be more cost-effective than Microsoft Exchange for server functions at companies with fewer than 5,000 users. However, when you're talking about a company with more than 25,000 users, the IBM mainframe's power quickly drives down the cost per seat to far below the Microsoft cost."

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