Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dream machine: laptop with hypervisor?

Podcasts are an interesting way of staying up-to-date, especially when spending a lot of time in your car like I do. A podcast that I recently discovered is DABBC. DABBC focuses mainly on virtualization and tracks vendors such as Citrix, VMWare, Microsoft, Parallels and others.

Episode 67 of DABBC Radio is an interview with Ian Pratt, a Britt who co-founded XenSource (acquired by Citrix). Interesting to learn about paravirtualization, whereby the OS on top of the hypervisor is aware about the hypervisor underneath and the OS behaves somewhat differently as when it had full access to the hardware. I also learned that more and more vendors are shipping machines with virualization support in the hardware. E.g. HP and Dell seem to ship servers that contain Xen in the hardware.

Most customers I work for don't allow me to connect to their corporate network with my own laptop. They provide me with a laptop configured according to their corporate guidelines (typically XP). As a consequence, I'm always on the road with 2 or 3 laptops. Wouldn't it be great if they provided me with a machine image that I could run on top of the hypervisor of my own laptop?

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