The Evolution of the VM

For the past several months I have been working extensively with Oracle’s Virtual Box. As I learn new technologies, operating systems and Applications, I have installed, cloned and deployed various virtual machines. I picked up a used Del T7500 with 8 real and 8 virtual cores and added 36G of memory. That platform is running anywhere from 1 to 5 virtual machines at any given time. The CPU load is minimal and I have memory to spare.

Many of those virtual machines are running Linux, but there are a couple running Solaris. One VM is emulating an SDN network complete with an OpenDaylight SDN controller, the rest are running various OAM&P applications. I built the platform for around $1000 which is just a fraction of the cost that physical machines that would have been required.

So what’s so special about this? VM’s have been around for a long time.

Yes VM’s have been around for quite some time, but being able to turn actual physical hard disks into VM’s, being able to move VM’s to the cloud and being able to simulate seven SDN switches with a controller on standard off-the-shelf hardware has never been this easy or reliable. Intel is saying that Network Service Visualization (NFV) is coming and other networking Guru’s are suggesting that the core of the Internet will be homogenized by SDN. Given my recent experiences, I can see how this will come to pass.

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