New VirtualBox Bible: Thou Shalt Be Named ‘Teleportation’ and Forget About vMotion


Sun Microsystems today announced a new version of  Sun VirtualBox, its cross-platform virtualization software.

Their open source hypervisor is being downloaded an impressive 40.000 times a day and remains free for personal use. As a happy VirtualBox user, I also applaud Sun for providing the free bandwidth on that VirtualBox install file, which is between 42 Mb and 76 Mb (depending on the OS).

However, Sun also takes the opportunity to introduce ‘Teleportation’ to the virtualization industry with this VirtualBox 3.1 release and boldly claims the first Cross-Platform Live Migration of Virtual Machines. Sun’s ‘Teleportation’ capability is inspired by a Star Trek classic and allows “running virtual machines to be moved, uninterrupted between disparate hosts – including those on different operating systems, different classes of computer (e.g. server to client) and even different CPUs (e.g. Intel to AMD)…”

Most virtualization professionals have known this sexy feature for years… ever since VMware labeled it vMotion. Live Migration has also been added to Xen quite some time ago. It seems rather depending on your definition of ‘Cross Platform’ whether this really is a first, or rather an enhanced feature of what has been available for other hypervisors on other platforms…

Feel free to use the comment section below to list Sun’s Teleportation features which are not supported by your Virtualization vendor today.

Sun’s press realease continues: “By adding Teleportation and significant performance increases to its already impressive SMP and large workload capabilities, VirtualBox 3.1 now exhibits a full complement of enterprise hypervisor features. Teleportation helps virtual machines achieve high availability. When physical hardware needs to be taken down, the virtual workload can simply be teleported to another physical host. VirtualBox 3.1 also improves execution speed, with optimized memory handling delivering performance increases of 30% over the previous VirtualBox release; network performance, delivering increased throughput, while reducing CPU cycles, through a new high-speed, paravirtualized network driver; and display performance via a new 2D Video Acceleration feature for Windows guests. In addition, VirtualBox 3.1 offers new more powerful snapshotting features that help administrators move a virtual machine back or forward in time to any arbitrary snapshot state.

VirtualBox is open source software and popular: surpassing 20 million downloads worldwide since October 2007, with in excess of 40,000 downloads a day. VirtualBox software is free of charge for personal use. For wider deployments within an organization, enterprise licenses or subscriptions are also available, starting at $30 (USD) per user per year”.

About the author

I'm a Belgian based internet entrepreneur and the owner of & I failed at raising venture capital for my X86 virtualization venture in 1999 and moved on to found, & This is where I keep my finger on the Virtualization pulse.

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