Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0
Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0 creates virtual machines in seconds
- Containers take very little space and are very quick to create; Excellent desktop and browser based management tools; Manage both Linux and Windows platforms from one place
- Some aspects of Windows support are a bit behind the Linux version (eg Linux migration is fully live, while Windows will have a short bit of downtime)
The only thing that might put you off is that virtuals are platform-specific - that is, you can only run Linux virtuals on Linux hosts and Windows ones on Windows hosts. But we really don't think that's a huge problem, since the majority of virtualised installations have multiple physical servers anyway - which means you just have to think about what host OS to install on each physical server
When I first came across Virtuozzo Containers 3 a couple of years ago, virtualisation was just beginning to become popular. With the advent of version 4, and of course the massive push so many organisations are making towards virtualisation, now seemed the time to look at the new version of the beast.
Traditionally, virtualisation has been achieved simply by plonking an emulator on top of an operating system, and then plonking another OS on top of the emulator. These days the approaches are much more elegant and efficient, with VMware and Xen/Citrix both moving toward having a "thin" operating system under the emulator instead of a socking great OS.
Virtuozzo Containers takes a different approach, though — and a really very cunning one. It sits on top of a full OS implementation (either Windows or Linux), but rather than presenting virtual machines hosting full "guest" operating systems, it instead simply virtualises the operating system as collections of virtual links. So you only have one copy of the OS installed, and then you define "containers"; each container is a partitioned set of links to the underlying OS APIs and drivers, which lets a number of separate virtual "containers" use a single underlying OS. This means that each container takes up just a few megabytes, as it's not a full OS install; it also means that it takes only a few seconds to add a virtual machine to your server, because all that's involved is making another set of the aforementioned few megs of links.
Virtuozzo runs on Windows (notably WS2003) and Linux (CentOS, Fedora, RHEL and SuSE). Because the "guest" operating systems are just links to the real OS, you can only run Windows virtuals on Windows and Linux virtuals on Linux — but that's really not a problem. Both the Windows and Linux versions run on 32- and 64-bit hardware. Additionally, the Linux 64-bit version can present both 64- and 32-bit virtual entities, while for the moment the 64-bit Windows version can only present its virtuals as 64-bit entities.
To install the system, you obviously need to begin with a suitable host OS. Then you run through the installer, which holds no requirement for a rocket science degree but which does take a while to download patches and updates once the basic package has been installed. Part of the setup process on the Windows version involves the installer configuring some "template" containers, to do which it asks you for the Windows Server CD; we found that it was very unhappy using a virtual CD via an ISO image; copying the files to a folder solved the problem, though.
Once everything's installed, you have two ways to manage Virtuozzo. Option 1 is the Management Console desktop application; option 2 is the new browser-based Parallels Infrastructure Manager ("PIM"), which in fact is the main new feature of the product. Both are completely platform agnostic — that is, you manage your Windows and Linux hosts from the same screens, using the same concepts and wizards. Parallels is making a big deal of the PIM interface, touting it not so much as a Virtuozzo management tool but as a general tool for managing your entire virtual server world — including VMware and Hyper-V. And in fact, we've seen a version of PIM that can also manage servers running Parallels' other virtualisation products. All of the above is for future release, though; the version we actually used in our lab was a Virtuozzo-only tool.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSupport Engineer Level 3QLD
- CCData AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- CCProject Manager - Grant managementNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperQLD
- TPIT Training OfficerQLD
- CCWCEM DeveloperACT
- CCPHP DeveloperNSW
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerVIC
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- TPPrincipal Data Analyst | ArcGIS | Power BI | QlikQLD
- FTData ScientistACT
- FTSecurity ConsultantVIC
- FTPeopleSoft Technical Campus Solution DeveloperNSW
- CCWintel Server EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Digital BANSW
- FTSenior Security Engineer x 3NSW
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTTest LeadACT
- FTIntegration and Implementation SpecialistVIC
- FTWintel EngineerACT
- CCJava Developer - IntergrationQLD
- FTNodeJS and AngularJS DeveloperQLD