Oracle is pushing forward its technologies for managing instances of virtual machines. The company has this week announced the availability of its VM VirtualBox 4.2 open source, cross-platform virtualisation software.
The product is designed to make it easier to manage larger numbers of similar virtual machines with a 'VM Group' feature to allow administrators (or users) to operate on any number of VMs all at once, through a graphical user interface, set of APIs and command line tools.
NOTE: A virtual machine (VM) is a software implementation of a computing environment in which an operating system or program can be installed and run. The virtual machine typically emulates a physical computing environment, but requests for CPU, memory, hard disk, network and other hardware resources are managed by a virtualization layer, which translates these requests to the underlying physical hardware.
Oracle's senior vice president of Linux and virtualisation engineering Wim Coekaerts confirms that this is the only free open source virtualisation software that supports Windows, Mac, Linux and Oracle Solaris platforms.
"Users can install Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.2 on their preferred host platform and run a huge variety of guest operating systems in virtual machines," said Coekaerts.
There are also new startup options and new network tuning capabilities in this latest release.
Oracle's open source pedigree
What is interesting here is...
a) a powerful product with new 'expert' mode capabilities for experienced users as the penetration of virtualisation goes ever deeper into our global IT landscape and...
b) the fact that VirtualBox has gone on a development path from its initial roots with innotek GmbH (when the product was offered as a proprietary tool) through to its purchase by Sun and its subsequent open sourcing... and now under Oracle where it appears to be continuing its wider progression path healthily.
VirtualBox is a community effort and everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.