Have Mac/Intel, want virtualisation without the cost?

Plenty of us are now becoming increasingly used to running virtual machines as a way of virtualising our IT resources, especially when running on operating systems which are not necessarily top of our favourite vendor’s support matrices (ahem Domino Administrator/Designer ahem).  Well, my personal favorite is still VMWare, and I tend to have VMWare Fusion running almost 100% of the time on my Mac, whilst others I work with have a preference for Parallels for similar tasks.  However neither is necessarily a cheap option if you need to be creating/running VMs on multiple machines or to run them on some more obscure platforms.

Enter in the OpenSource option:

Sun xVM VirtualBox software is the world’s most popular open source virtualization platform because of its fast performance, ease of use, rich functionality, and modular design.

Features & Benefits

Higher, Wider, Deeper — Sun xVM VirtualBox is available to run on a higher number of host platforms than any other virtualization platform, has wider guest platforms support than any alternative, and a deeply compelling feature set too.
Features & Benefits
Run multiple operating systems concurrently on the same computer        

   * Hosts: Windows, Solaris, Linux, Mac OS X.
   * Guests: Support for practically any x86 based OS.

Open APIs and Modular Design        

   * Supports both GUI and rich CLI commands.
   * COM/XPCOM interfaces.
   * Web services interface.

Sun xVM VirtualBox can easily be built upon to deliver custom solutions or products, or be embedded as a component into systems.
High Performance         Sun xVM VirtualBox is highly efficient at delivering high performance virtual machines for its guests.

A secure multi-platformed desktop.
Free and Open Source        

   * Free as in Free Speech
         o Open Sourced under GPL.
         o Source code is available.
         o Strong community backing.
   * Free as in Free Beer
         o Binaries available for download.
         o Free for Personal Use and Evaluation.

Available direct from Sun, I’m going to give it a go…

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!