Leaner virtualization coming to Windows, Linux

Virtualization software that's all the rage today--chiefly VMware, Microsoft Virtual Server and Xen--lets a single computer run multiple operating systems. Now, a newer variety of virtualization is emerging that employs a lighter-weight approach so that a single operating system can be sliced into independent sections.

"It's something any operating system vendor has to have," said Serguei Beloussov, chief executive of software maker SWsoft, whose products enable the lightweight approach.

The overall goals of the two approaches are the same: Make a single computer more efficient, divide work among separate non-interfering partitions, and eventually move to a fluid world where software tasks move among computers in response to shifting computing priorities. The new approach, virtualizing above the operating system, requires less computer memory, permitting dozens of partitions on the same machine in some Linux cases, but sacrifices some flexibility and partition independence.

While servers are likely to be the first place the technology is used, it holds promises for PCs, too, where users could easily create partitions for trying new software, dividing work and home tasks, or isolating potentially risky applications such as Web browsers.

News source: News.com

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