If you are considering your operating system virtualization options, then two great options are OpenVZ and Virtuozzo. Despite having a common heritage, the personality of each is about as different as they can be. Virtuozzo VPS is a world class virtualization solution while OpenVZ is its open source base. Both are great pieces of software, but which you choose is down to your needs.
OpenVZ is a virtualization software package that is sponsored by Parallels. An open source project, it serves as the basis for their more advanced Virtuozzo software. While OpenVZ(and, by extension Virtuozzo) run only on Linux, there are a number of advantages that they have over the competition. One of the most obvious is how the virtual machine is constructed. Unlike many other virtual machines, OpenVZ virtual machines exist on the disk only as a set of folders and files. They are not inaccessible from the operating system that they exist in. Another major advantage is the efficiency. OpenVZ does not do full system emulation, so each virtual machine can run much faster.
Virtuozzo takes the strong, fast base of OpenVZ and adds to it. Virtuozzo features even better performance over OpenVZ, allowing for more virtual machines on the Virtuozzo VPS server. There is also better memory management. But the reasons you are most likely to choose Virtuozzo over OpenVZ is what features were added. For example, Virtuozzo allows you take a physical machine and load it onto your VPS hosting, and allows a VPS on your VPS hosting to be converted into a physical machine. If a given virtual machine turns out to need more performance than Virtuozzo VPS can provide, then you can just move it to a physical machine. Another powerful feature is the integration into Parallel’s Plesk control panel. This lets you easily manage and control your VPS hosting.
Virtuozzo is a better piece of software, but then that is understandable given it is built on the OpenVZ. If all you need is basic virtualization, then OpenVZ will cover your needs. But Virtuozzo’s superior performance and interesting features means that for those who need the power, there is no choice but Virtuozzo.
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