Skip to main content

Open Source Virtualization Software now offers live migration option

The OpenVZ project made public its operating system-level server virtualization software in the form of a kernel based on Linux 2.6.9, including for the first-time in a stable branch, fully-tested and performance-tuned live migration and Virtual Ethernet device features. Previously, those features were only available in the development branch of OpenVZ software.

Delivery of the checkpointing and live migration functionality as part of OpenVZ brings a capability that no other open source operating system-level virtualization software offers. It allows system administrators to move virtual servers between physical servers without end-user disruption or the need for costly storage capacity.

With checkpointing and live migration, the state of a running virtual environment is frozen and the image stored on disk then restored on another server. The function executes between any two servers on a network, so the capability works for any server and any application. OpenVZ delivers this capability without additional requirements, such as a storage area network (SAN).

Also, the Virtual Ethernet device function allows for network devices to be created inside virtual environments using designated names and hardware (MAC) addresses that are different from the actual physical device.

OpenVZ is operating system-level server virtualization software technology, built on Linux, which creates multiple isolated, secure virtual environments on a single physical server - enabling greater server utilization and superior availability with fewer performance penalties. The virtual servers ensure that applications do not conflict and can be re-booted independently.

The new OpenVZ kernel software can be downloaded here. Also, users can access helpful installation instructions from the OpenVZ wiki. The site serves as a forum to gain and share knowledge about OpenVZ and includes documentation and a knowledge base with helpful advice.

With the power of today's processors from Intel, AMD and IBM, hardware is often under utilized. With virtualization technology, the server can effectively be split into many small ones, each running its tasks so that the whole server is utilized more efficiently.

The OpenVZ project freely distributes and offers support to its users, promoting operating system virtualization through a collaborative, community effort.

Since going into full production late last year, the OpenVZ project has been very active with the user community with more than 8,000 message posts on its support Forum.

The OpenVZ website attracted nearly one million hits last month as more businesses and individuals explore and contribute to the leading open source operating system virtualization project.

OpenVZ software comes with user tools that help automate management of virtual servers. With its unique architecture that uses a single operating system instance, the virtual servers perform and execute like independent servers with their own memory, configuration files, users and applications. Each can be re-booted independently.

Using template-based application deployment provides a simple way to get new virtual servers up and running in minutes and OpenVZ can run several times more virtual servers per CPU than other virtualization technologies.

Supported by SWsoft, the OpenVZ project serves the needs of the community developers, testers, documentation experts, and other technology enthusiasts who wish to participate in and accelerate the technology development process OpenVZ is open source software that is used as the basis for the SWsoft Virtuozzo virtualization software product. Also, the OpenVZ project maintains a blog site discussing virtualization technology, which can be accessed here.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.