SWsoft announced this week that its Virtuozzo virtualization software has been certified for use with IBM DB2 9, a signal to IT managers that it's OK to consolidate database workloads on virtualized x86 servers.
Virtuozzo, as compared to virtualization software leader VMware, is often called shared-operating system virtualization. Virtuozzo runs on top of a single operating system kernel and creates multiple partitions on top of it in which applications can be run. With VMware, multiple instances of an operating system run on top of a hypervisor layer.
Dan Olds, principal consultant at the Gabriel Consulting Group, said that Virtuozzo could be ideal for database applications. Because it doesn't create multiple instances of an operating system, it uses less overhead and thus leaves more room for database applications to run.
"VMware is good stuff," he said. "But the problem is when you start to get a number of virtual machines up, the overhead can go through the roof, like 20 % plus on the machine just to run VMware. It's very memory intensive. Virtuozzo doesn't have nearly that much overhead. It's maybe 2% to 5%."
Olds added that Virtuozzo may not be appropriate for every company. For example, a company going through a server consolidation project may not want to bring virtual servers from different company divisions onto one box simply because they share the same operating system version. Territorial battles and service level agreements (SLA) can complicate a consolidation that merges resources from multiple divisions.
In those cases, VMware may be more attractive because you'll be better able to consolidate servers even if the company has different operating systems, or different versions of the same operating system.
"The thing I'm trying to tell my clients is that that one virtualization type doesn't fit all," Olds said. "This is a good step forward for (Virtuozzo), and I would expect that as customers explore x86 virtualization and move from testing to production, that they'll look for more alternatives, like Virtuozzo, to get maximum utilization from their servers."
Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer.