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The Best Free Virtualization Tools

written by: •edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 1/31/2011

Not every virtualization tool is equipped to enhance the performance of standard applications and many offer very little practical utility. Therefore, it is imperative to know about the best virtualization tools on offer today:

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    Some of the best free virtualization tools are easily accessible from the web. They are oriented towards increasing server, operating system and desktop efficiency along with making the entire PC-using experience more user-friendly. These best free virtualzation tools help in increasing efficiency of major applications. Many such tools have been put forth by open source communities and by noted IT solutions vendors like Microsoft and Sun. However, not each of these is equipped to enhance the performance of standard applications and many offer very little practical utility. Therefore, it is imperative to know about the best virtualization tools on offer today:

    1. Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit

    This is a simple freebie tool that enhances the server’s performance. Virtual Server 2005 or the VSMT — Virtual Server Migration Toolkit, is known to simplify the migration between an OS (operating system) and any other installed application. This migration happens between servers that are functioning within virtual machines that are being managed by Virtual Server 2005 and another physical server.

    2. OpenVZ

    This is a free virtualization tool for Linux users. It is offered as an open-source software and is a part of commercial virtualization solutions that are offered by Parallels. OpenVZ helps users by creating a number of isolated and very secure containers, also called VEs and VPSs, on a chosen physical server. This solves the purpose of improving the server’s utilization and the ability to support multiple applications without compromising on their performance.

    3. Sun xVM (Sun Microsystems)

    xVM is regarded as a basic but effective solution for increasing server performance. It provides an unusual utility — lifecycle management for servers. It has been developed as a multi-platform, open-source tool that helps users to host many operating systems along with enhanced CPU functionalities and better memory usage capabilities.

    4. Enomalism Virtualized Management Dashboard (VMD)

    This is basically a web-based solution that solves most of problems created by using a distributed hosting environment. Offered as an open-source solution, it provides an easy-to-use interface that can control many isolated servers being used as a part of the virtualized grid computing environment.

    5. PlateSpin Power Recon (acquired by Novell)

    The PowerRecon is more of a planning-cum-monitoring tool that is more suited for bigger organizational needs rather than smaller networks. It is particularly useful in computing environments with many servers and multiple virtual host targets. It is especially useful for VM hosts and makes the physical-to-virtual transition, smoother and much faster.

    6. vOptimizer FreeWare 4.0.41 (Windows)

    A great optimization tool, particularly for increasing the performance of Windows-based operating systems. The vOptimizer FreeWare is offered across many desktop editions and this helps in making VM warehouses that can be maintained anywhere on the network. Users also have the option of scheduling many automated application updates to make the FreeWare 4.0.41 more personalized.

    7. Virtual Iron 3.1 Enterprise (Acquired by Oracle)

    This virtualization tool takes OS flexibility to another level and makes OS migration effortless. It offers users the option of creating a virtual data center that can support both Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is suited both for small-time and bigger enterprise requirements — the best cost-effective replacement for VMware users.

    8. VirtualBox (Sun)

    One of the best free virtualization tools, the Sun VirtualBox is a bit similar to the VMware workstation application but offers more in terms of performance. It helps users to control the performance of operating systems within a virtual computing environment. Now, users can run their virtual Linux instance on the Windows desktop itself. Further, users can try out new on operating systems offer without fearing any corruption of their original OS.

    9. Microsoft Virtual Server

    Microsoft Virtual Server or MS VS is an IIS web-based virtualization tool acquired by Microsoft. This desktop virtualization software package was originally designed and developed by Connectix and its functions are supported on Windows platform including vista, xp and 2003 operating system. The latest version is 2005 R2 SP1 which also supports Linux operating system.

    10. VMWare Workstation

    VMware Workstation is an exclusive VMware product which supports multiple operating systems including Linux, Windows and a number of other os on same PC with a complete flexibility for creation of virtual machines on different OS and allowing instant switching between them. Latest version is 6.5 that lets you create virtual environment with effective inclusion of client virtual server database configuration.

    The above were some of the best free virtualization tools. If you know of any such tool that you think would help others, please share it with us via the comments section.