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VirtualBox 3.1.2 Released

The VirtualBox Type 2 hypervisor has been released with a new feature: teleportation. This is a virtual machine migration technology from one host to another. VirtualBox's implementation of this is quite interesting in a number of ways:
  • This is the only Type 2 hypervisor with a live migration functionality.
  • This allows live virtual machines to cross host types (Windows, Linux, Solaris, etc.).
  • This is the third major virtualization product to offer a free live migration solution.

The 3.1.x series of VirtualBox includes other new features, including the branched snapshot feature. VirtualBox allows an unlimited number of snapshots -- at the expense of drive space -- to allow ultimate flexibility. A branched snapshot allows snapshots to be taken or restored from an existing snapshot (see Fig. 1).

VirtualBox snapshots
Figure 1.VirtualBox snapshots allow a multitude of restore options. (Click image to view larger version)

Other major updates for 3.1.x of VirtualBox include a number of enhancements for ease of use and performance. One of these is the ability to change the network type while the VM is running. This was my biggest complaint of VirtualBox, as changing from the default NAT configuration required shutting the VM down.

Additional performance improvements for 2D video and flexible CD/DVD attachment are also part of the new release. Full information on the new release can be found in the VirtualBox user manual online.

VirtualBox is the only Type 2 hypervisor that I use. While VMware products abound in the Type 2 hypervisors for server consolidation, VirtualBox is my preferred product to install on top of an operating system.

VirtualBox is a free product, and is available for download from the VirtualBox Web site.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 12/29/2009 at 12:47 PM


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