VMware previews paravirtualization

VMware, an EMC subsidiary that that once had the x86 server virtualization market to itself, released on Friday a technology preview that helps bridge a divide with open-source rival Xen.

Virtualization lets multiple operating systems run on the same machine, a technology that can increase server efficiency. Paravirtualization is related, but in comparison offers higher performance and requires that an operating system be explicitly adapted to the virtualized foundation on which it's running.

VMware's virtualization foundation thus far employs full virtualization, while Xen and an upcoming alternative from Microsoft code-named Viridian employ paravirtualization. VMware's preview technology lets paravirtualized operating systems run on VMware's foundation, the company said.

Currently, the software supports only 32-bit versions of Linux, and USB doesn't work.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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