stuffing is both indicative of the advances made in
virtualization and a precursor to moving the utility
provided by these physical machines to the cloud.
The mastery gained from encapsulating this much
compute power on a local system also serves as a
basis for putting the VMs on an always-accessible
platform, regardless of the physical location of the
IT pro who needs to use the resources.
t’s just about Thanksgiving, but I feel like I
already have a refrigerator full of turducken
leftovers in the form of client VMs scattered
across my lab bench.
For those not familiar with the term, a turducken
is a partially deboned turkey that is stuffed with a
deboned duck that is stuffed with a deboned chicken.
It’s the concept I use to keep clear about what virtual
machine is running where in the flurry of desktop virtualization reviews I’ve written during the past year.
Running a fat client stuffed with fat clients that
are themselves stuffed with fat clients came to a head
with my review of VMware Workstation 7 (see Page
23). When I found myself using the names of Greek
and Norse gods for physical computers—words that
started with the letter “v” to name virtual machines and
“s” to denote the virtual machines running inside those
virtual machines—it was time to take a sanity break.
For today, however, I have some practical concerns about the use of VM-within-VM architectures. Until now, power users have been entrusted
with administrative privileges because they weren’t
naive end users. I’ve seen in my own test environments how much administrative time I’ve had to
devote to ensuring that my sprawling virtual king-
All this VM stuffing is of great benefit when
used by developers and trainers. Setting up whole
test environments in the confines of one physical
system provides a tremendous productivity boost
to high-value IT employees. Also compelling is
the ability to provide IT workers with training on
bleeding-edge virtualized infrastructure without
the associated costs of physical infrastructure.
Further, client hardware has gained enough
compute power to support turducken-style VM
implementations. With the advent of relatively
inexpensive multicore client systems with relatively
large amounts of inexpensive RAM, it’s almost a
waste of silicon not to run multiple VMs on a single
Technical Director Cameron Sturdevant can be reached
e WEEK Labs’ increasingly sprawling virtualization test bed.
dom is patched, secured and generally maintained
so as not to pose a threat to myself or others.
Even my Apple systems, most now running Windows clients, come within the scope of my anti-malware regimen. I’ve spent a lot of time managing all
that I now count this time against the productivity
gains provided by virtualization tools.
Even Fruitarians (Apple users) are getting in on
the game. My recent reviews of VMware Fusion 3
and Parallels Desktop 5 showed that the heavyweight
of fat clients (the Mac platform’s mandatory hard-ware/OS combo) is gaining the ability to stuff the
most widely used business OS (Windows) into an
elegant, apple-shaped VM. VMware and Parallels are
in a race to see which virtualization tool can make
the Windows OS appear the most Apple-like—“just
another application” running on the Mac platform.
This story can be found online at:
Today, it’s cool to run an entire VMware infra-
structure on a laptop. Tomorrow, you might be
wondering why you made all that turducken. ;