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What benefits will Linux 2.6's new virtual machine technologies offer?

What benefits will Linux 2.6's new virtual machine technologies offer? What are the best first steps for putting 2.6's virtual machine technologies to work? What "gotchas" should we watch out for when deploying or using VM? (My company has 4,000 users, about 3,000 working at a U.S. headquarters and 1,000 working in five small branch offices around the world. Many users telecommute part of the time. We've migrated our Web infrastructure to Linux and plan a database migration soon.)
User-Mode Linux is a safe, secure way of running Linux versions and Linux processes in the 2.6 kernel. User-Mode Linux gives you a virtual machine that may have more hardware and software virtual resources than your actual physical computer. Disk storage for the virtual machine is entirely contained inside a single file on your physical machine. You can assign your virtual machine the hardware access you want it to have. With properly limited access, nothing you do on the virtual machine can change or damage your real computer or its software. Using VMWare will give you the ability to boot another operating environment like Windows. You should also look at using VMWare as a migration tool as it will help you smooth your transition.
This was first published in December 2003

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