WatITis 2006

Virtual systems: current practices and future possibilities


Virtual machines and systems are an old concept in IT, one that was exploited with great success at UW in the 1970s and 1980s. The use of virtual machines is undergoing a renaissance today, driven by commercial products from VMWare and Microsoft and open-source products like Xen.

There are compelling reasons to consider the use of VMs today beyond the commonly-accepted "we can buy fewer computers", such as configuration management, image deployment, backup/restore simplicity, classroom or lab deployment.

This talk will discuss current technology and describe some of the possible advantages for using VM technologies in standard platforms. An example of a large-scale virtualization deployment, the Computer Science Tetherless Computing Lab's Akimbi Slingshot/VMWare Lab Manager platform will be described and demonstrated. And finally, a vision for the widespread use of virtual-machine technologies in teaching and research will be presented.


Online Powerpoint presentation, designed for Internet Explorer but Mozilla-derived browsers work well. A PDF hardcopy is available for download, and a black&white version suitable for printing is also available.