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30,000 Virtual Appliance in Service from VirtualBoxImages.com

Apr 04, 2010, 07:02 (0 Talkback[s])


Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers

[ Thanks to James for this link. ]

When I first found VirtualBox and created my first Virtual Machine VirtualBox was still owned by a small company in Germany. Few people know of the project and fewer thought it was a good idea to build and distribute pre-installed virtual machines.

Along the was VirtualBox was purchased by Sun Micro System. Then Sun Micro Systems was purchased by Oracle.

My original goal was to become familiar with Linux servers and Linux desktops because clients were interested in a lower cost solution to Microsoft Windows solutions.

In the earlier days the site was called VEEDEE-EYES.com. The name being the pronunciation of VDI's. The name was confusing and did not work well for SEO. So was born VirtualBoxImages.com

There were other sites that had a few Virtual Machines available and I wanted have more VM's available at virtualboximages.com than any other site. SO, making Virtual Machines became an obsession. At about this time it became obvious that storage and bandwidth was going to be a big issue. Finding an inexpensive, if not FREE solution was a necessity but now simple.

Mininova Content Distribution became the solution. Even though the this is a torrent site. It was only necessary to upload the archive to the Mininova server and they host it there and seed the torrent. This relieved me from having to seed the torrent indefinitely. Additionally, Mininova provides high speed downloads as they have the bandwidth. Not to mention the user traffic that resulted from using the service helped grow our site.

There comes a time when you look at your obsession and determine the cost and time of building, uploading and maintaining the site. One user offered to purchase a DVD loaded with Virtual Machines. This was simple enough but took more time that would have been expected. Not to mention that shipping to other countries was even more complication and cost.

Looking at sites like http://www.vmware.com/appliances/ I realized that there maybe there was a way to offset the cost with the help of loyal VirtualBoxImages.com users by providing the images for direct download. But, still there was the question of storage and bandwidth.

There are plenty of sites that will allow you to sell your downloads. Most want to charge you a monthly FEE for the service. Not to mention that the fee increased with the more you have stored on their server. Then I found TradeBit.com (http://TradeBit.com)

TradeBit.com is FREE. This was a relief. Even with hundreds of Gigs of storage used Tradebit only collects a commission on the downloads sold. Over the years TradeBit has only gotten better. They host over 200 terabytes of downloads for thousands of merchants. Our relationship with TradeBit.com has grown to the point where I developed their iPhone app. (http://www.tradebit.info/iphone.php), but that's another store all together.

We have received criticism and accolades from the Linux Community. A few distros have indicated that VirtuaBoxImages.com has been the #1 cause for growth and recognition of their project. We are happy we could help. Let's face it, your not going to wipe you machine to try out an unknown new distro.

At the current rate, there are 1000 new VirtualBoxImages.com pre-installed Virtual Machines placed into service each month and climbing. Indicating a general acceptance of VirtualBox and pre-installed systems.

So here we are, three years later, and over 30,000 Virtual Machines in service and still growing. VirtualBox is still FREE. Countless users have been exposed to Linux for the first time using our pre-installed images.

Who know what the future holds. I hope that we have made a difference in the Linux community and will continue to provide Virtual Appliances as long as we can. -James

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