Open source virtualization hypervisor VirtualBox has reached version 3.1, which adds the ability to migrate a live virtual machine session between physical hosts.
Sun Microsystems, the commercial backer of VirtualBox, claimed the new live migration feature as the virtualization industry's first "teleportation" capability, allowing running virtual machines to be moved between hosts -- including different operating systems, types of computer (server to client) and CPUs (Intel to AMD).
Other new features in 3.1 include restoration of virtual machine states from arbitrary snapshots, 2D video acceleration for Windows guests and support for more than one optical drive.
On networking side, the network attachment type can now be changed while a VM is running and there is also added support for paravirtualised network adapters.
AMD64 guest support has also received performance improvements, with Sun claiming an increase of 30 per cent over the previous VirtualBox release.
Since acquiring Innotek -- the original developer of VirtualBox -- early last year Sun has made a number of major releases of the product which competes in the desktop virtualization space against more established players like VMware and Parallels.
Betting on Business Appeal
Sun now claims more than 20 million copies of VirtualBox have been downloaded worldwide at a rate of 40,000 per day.
VirtualBox is cross-platform and runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Solaris.
With its new live migration ability Sun is betting VirtualBox 3.1 will appeal more to the business market as workloads can be "teleported" to another physical host to help achieve high-availability.
Sun’s vice president of datacenter software marketing, Jim McHugh, said the company is committed to VirtualBox by way of innovation and more frequent releases.
Commercial support is available for VirtualBox with enterprise licence subscriptions starting at $US30 per user per year.