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Desktop vs. Server Virtualization

Desktop vs. Server Virtualization

Posted Mar 23, 2010 23:47 UTC (Tue) by dowdle (subscriber, #659)
In reply to: KVM, QEMU, and kernel project management by drag
Parent article: KVM, QEMU, and kernel project management

Just wanted to add that the "client hypervisor" concept seems to be sweeping the industry as the next big buzzword. I mean that as a compliment because I think client hypervisors are worth all of the hype.

What is a client hypervisor?

I assume everyone knows what VMware ESXi is. Ok, want a Linux example? How about Red Hat's RHEV-Hypervisor. Ok, you know what those are, right? Now imagine them built into firmware and put into every desktop and server by default. This is especially a powerful concept when you imagine that a laptop or desktop computer will no longer need to come with an OS because as long as it has a client hypervisor in firmware you can use a generic OS image.

It basically takes the major feature of virtualization as it applies to servers today... that being hardware independence... and applies it to the desktop OS. Pick one or multiple OS images and run them on demand. Combine that with fast networking for booting VMs over PXE for more than just installation. Combine that with remote desktop protocols (SPICE, RDP/RemoteFX, ICA/HSX, PCoverIP, etc) for thin-client access as well... and just imagine what the desktop of the future will look like.

What stands in the way? Getting the client hypervisor working well with the large variety of hardware available in the PC market... or deciding to reduce the hardware supported. Getting accelerated 3D working in VMs painlessly and well. Other than that, the desktop computer as we know it will completely change over the next 2-10 years. You think anyone is interested in that market? :)

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