Do you need 10 reasons to use Linux-based virtualization? Linux is the chosen virtualization platform for Cloud vendors, virtualization software companies and the largest IT companies in the world. What do they know that you don't?
Here's the list of 10 reasons in reverse order (Actually there's no particular order except for the number 1 reason).
10. Big Vendor Support - VMware, Citrix, Red Hat and Ubuntu are your big commercial vendors using Linux for their virtualization technology. Why do they use it? Various reasons but the top reason is performance.
9. Price - Yes, I know I'm beating a dead horse here but you have to admit that it's a big selling point. Cheap is better than expensive and free is better than cheap any way you slice it. In today's slimmer budgets, it's a significant factor in making choices.
8. Performance - The number one barrier to conversion from physical to virtual machines for many is performance. Hypervisor technology and Linux make it a pairing that rivals native physical machine performance. With the addition of SAN storage, even disk I/O performance bottlenecks are resolved to the satisfaction of the most skeptical among you.
7. Stability - Cloud vendors need uptimes of 99.999%. Which platform do they choose? Linux. Why? Stability. Which OS should you choose for your systems? Linux. Why? Stability. Unless you update the kernel, you'll never need to reboot.
6. Commercial Support - VMware, Citrix, Red Hat and Ubuntu (through Canonical) are all commercially supported solutions. Superior support, excellent products and the best people available to assist you on a 24x7 basis.
5. Commodity Hardware Capable - Red Hat, Ubuntu, and Xen will install on just about anything you have as long as some minimum requirements are met. The point is that you can do more with less using Linux-based virtualization. Cheap hardware is one way of entering into the virtualization fray without a huge financial committment.
4. Management - Once loaded, VMware and Citrix Xen are managed from remote applications rather than from the command line. You can interact with the underlying operating system but you rarely need to.
3. Hypervisor Technology - Linux is the choice for Hypervisor technology because of its small footprint and ability to run as a paravirtualized operating system on the Hypervisor. VMware and Xen both operate this way. This way there's no operating system layer in the way of the Hypervisor but using the paravirtualized Linux system, you can still interact with the system itself.
2. Community Support - You have, at your disposal, the world's largest support community for practically any problem you encounter. Sites, like DaniWeb and their members are there to help you. No need to ever be frustrated with a problem--just search or ask and a friendly person who's been there and done that will be glad to assist.
And, the number one reason to use Linux-based virtualization is--
1. It Isn't Microsoft - You waited for it and here it is plain and simple: It isn't Microsoft. A cop out? No. A straightforward and just statement for who'd rather fight than switch to the licensing hell that is Microsoft. No, Hyper-V isn't particularly terrible but do you really want to use it knowing that you'll be tied in to and held for ransom by Microsoft for the next several years? The Dark Side is seductive--don't give in.
Write back and tell me about your virtualization experiences on Linux and non-Linux platforms. I'd like to know.