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Phoenix "Virtualization" Shows Future Promise

But, currently, its desktop virtualization is not suitable for servers.
But, currently, its desktop virtualization is not suitable for servers.At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week I came across references to a product called HyperSpace from Phoenix Technologies Ltd. that touted it as virtualization for the consumer market. Naturally, I looked into it, on the possibility it might offer something for the SMB server market, which, in my estimation, still lacks a practical virtualization solution.

After poking at HyperSpace, I am of the opinion that it is not something that is of immediate interest to the SMB server arena, since the virtualization it offers is not the kind that servers need. Whether it is something that the consumer market really needs is another question.

I found that, basically, HyperSpace is a stripped-down version of Linux that can boot ahead of Windows. You can be on-line 20 seconds after pressing the On button, which is dramatically faster than Windows. But you can't run your usual Widows software in this new environmentyou have to get special versions from the application vendors.

Meanwhile, there are two versions of HyperSpace. The "Dual" version, with an annual license fee of $39.99, lets you run HyperSpace or Windows, but not both. It's intended to provide the "instant-on" experience. The fancier "Hybrid" version, with an annual license fee of $59.95, lets you toggle back and forth between the two environments. The main advantage of doing so is to keep on-line activity quarantined within the HyperSpace environment, so any resulting infections will not impact the Windows environment.

Server virtualization, however, involves consolidating the number of servers by running multiple applications on one machine, with each application thinking it has full control of that machine, thus avoiding the need for reprogramming. HyperSpace is unlikely to offer that, since there would need to be enterprise applications running under HyperSpace, and since there would need to be multiple instances of HyperSpace.

On the other hand, it is heartening to see someone making a stab at practical virtualization for the desktop. Perhaps practical virtualization for the small-office server is not far behind.

Visit the bMighty Server How-To Center for practical, hands-on information about how to choose, install, and maintain your company's servers.

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