% fortune -ae paul murphy

A use for x86 virtualization?

According to distrowatch there are about 360 currently more or less active Linux distributions.

According to Intel and VMware a quad processor Tigerton/Caneland based PC server with enough memory and storage will be available real soon now and handle 360 Linux ghosted applications for real cheap.

In other words, if your garage business makes and supports software you can put one of these in a corner rack and use it to support customers using any of the available Linux distributions. One computer - 360 distinctly different customer application contexts, just switch between them as the calls come in.

It sounds silly, but it may be the first real use for PC style ghosting I've ever seen because it provides enormous savings over the traditional one-of-each support infrastructure without imposing apriori limits on what distributions can be sold (i.e. supported) and without penalising users on performance or control.

More subtly, it turns an oft cited Linux negative: too many Linux distributions, into a positive: freeing the customer from vendor imposed distribution requirements.

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.