Knoppix offers OpenVZ virtualization test-drive

The idea: Let companies try server virtualization without installation woes

Using a specially equipped Knoppix Linux 5.5.1 bootable CD, companies looking to see how server virtualization might fit into their IT plans can now run OpenVZ virtualization software instead of having to install and configure the full program.

The test-drive using Knoppix, which runs an entire Linux distribution from a CD, is a first for OpenVZ, said Kir Kolyshkin, manager of the OpenVZ open-source project.

The OpenVZ/Knoppix CD software, now available for free download, provides a complete version of the software for testing and evaluation, Kolyshkin said. "It's just another way to try OpenVZ."

For users who want to see how the application works, the Knoppix version forgoes having to install the OpenVZ application on a Linux-equipped computer, which normally takes about 30 minutes to complete.

OpenVZ allows users to run a multitude of virtualized Linux servers, all from one instance of a Linux kernel, compared with other virtualization applications that require a full operating system for each virtualized server. Under OpenVZ, each virtual server can be rebooted independently of the others. The application will run without any performance hit as though it were running on a normal Linux-based computer, according to Kolyshkin.

The CD will allow users to try all the capabilities of OpenVZ, but they won't be able to save their work, Kolyshkin said.

The idea for the Knoppix/OpenVZ test drive CD came from Klaus Knopper, the developer of Knoppix, who earlier this year prepared a version of Knoppix that incorporated OpenVZ as part of a demonstration presented in Germany. The OpenVZ development team contacted Knopper about the combination and made several improvements to create the version now available to the public.

Knoppix has been used for similar live CD test drives for various other applications over the past several years, Knopper said.

The OpenVZ open-source project is supported by Herndon, Va.-based SWsoft. SWsoft sells the virtualization application Virtuozzo, which adds proprietary management and automation tools to the OpenVZ technology. 

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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