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WRT virtualization:

Displaying poll results.
I don't have / use any virtual machines
  2590 votes / 12%
I experiment with VMs, but only dipping my toes
  2568 votes / 12%
I use VMs, but only for a few specialized tasks
  6572 votes / 30%
I use VMs interchangeably with physical machines
  5469 votes / 25%
I am a gung-ho VM user, the PC is just a host
  2169 votes / 10%
I have no physical machines
  354 votes / 1%
If by "virtualization" you mean living in the Matrix ...
  1552 votes / 7%
21274 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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WRT virtualization:

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  • iTunes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by intermodal (534361) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @11:13AM (#44225815) Homepage Journal

    I had a Win7 VirtualBox running on my Linux laptop for nothing but iTunes when I had an iPhone, and now I basically still just have it lying around for no legitimate reason. Using it is horrible, since it boots up every several months for something quick and then wants to run all the new updates...

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Familiar problem - for me WinXP that I had to use for e-banking. The one computer that I used mainly was OK (though occasionally slow due to updates) the other computer was a disaster. Could take half an hour for it to become usable thanks to all those updates.

      Luckily not needed any more; bank now works without special Windows-only software.

      Only VM that I'm currently using is a cloud server for my e-mail and web hosting needs. And that's a Debian system.

      • by WillKemp (1338605)

        That must be a very retarded bank - i've banked with a few different institutions over the decade or so i've been using net banking and they've all worked with at least one of the web browsers available for Linux.

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          The problem was that they used a USB device for authentication, and the drivers for that device were Windows-only. For the rest it worked fine in Firefox, which I always used for browsing. Now this has changed, using an external calculator-type device for that, and I can use Linux.

          • by operagost (62405)
            I applaud your bank for not using fake "multi-factor" through challenge questions, but when they could have used text messaging/email to an approved device, or RSA tokens instead of a device that you had to attach to your computer they failed.
    • I have a MacOS VMware image on my win 7 box that I use for iOS development. I also have a ubuntu image for some local web development testing, but this is rarely used.
  • Missing Option (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nmb3000 (741169) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @11:13AM (#44225817) Homepage Journal

    Where's the "I am sick of these thinly veiled Dice bullshit marketing polls" option? I'm done voting in these things.

    Remember when Slashdot polls used to be for fun and covered silly/interesting things? RIP, Cowboyneal.

    • Re:Missing Option (Score:5, Informative)

      by timothy (36799) Works for Slashdot on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @11:28AM (#44226007) Homepage Journal

      Poll ideas are always welcome!

      Just use the same submission page (linked at the top of the page) and throw us some wacky ones.

      No thin veiling; this question sprung fully formed from my forehead, like Minerva from Zeus. Dice has a marketing department, but we human editors come up with the poll ideas; some of them suck, I grant, but no conspiracy is necessary for that.

      Looking at slashdot.org/topics.pl is a good place for inspiration if you want to come up with some poll suggestions ...

      Cheers,

      timothy

    • Cowboy Neal is my virtualizer. Also, I see nothing wrong with this poll option. We can discuss about how much better VMs are for safety (except that I took the blue pill). We can discuss how much specialized software sucks (and/or how much it sucks that Wine isn't quite good enough yet). We can discuss various things.

      Anyway, I have a VM with MS Windows 2003 on it, that I only use very occasionally for software that won't run on Linux or with Wine.
      I also have a DOS VM for games, but I've mostly been playing

    • I must have missed the poll options of "I use Dice (TM) VMs every day and they satisfy all my business needs!", "My virtualisation was so difficult until I purchased Dice (R) Super System VMs!" and "Without Dice (R) VM Buddy Management Solutions Networks, I don't know where I'd be; their effortless implementation of virtualisation has saved my business-critical cloud solutions and turn-key management time and time again!"

      Maybe I wasn't paying attention.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @11:19AM (#44225899)

    I use a Linux VM for all surfing in VirtualBox. Surfing directly from your base OS seems incredibly risky to me, particularly if the base OS is Windows. Kind of wish the VMWare server kernel could be modded to run guest OSs directly on the same platform. I'd put it on my portable in a heartbeat, however, running VirtualBox hosted VMs on Linux is just as good for most purposes.

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      Closest to this would be going with Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V, as that is a level 1 hypervisor (same level as ESXi.) The advantage is that other VMs run at the same speed as the base W2012 instance, and you can use that as a VM console.

      Of course the disadvantage of having a full-fledged OS as a console or a place to remote into the VMs is having to keep it secured and patched, even if it does little other than provide a keyboard and mouse to the consoles of the client VMs.

      Probably the best scenario w

      • Hyper-V, as that is a level 1 hypervisor

        But if it kills another orc, it will become a level 2 hypervisor!

        Or do you mean a type 1 hypervisor [acm.org]

        The advantage is that other VMs run at the same speed as the base W2012 instance

        This is not an advantage of Type 1 hypervisors. The advantage is (in theory) a smaller TCB.

      • by MattW (97290)

        Windows 2012 Server boots first, then after a bootstrap the Windows 2012 O/S migrates out of Ring-0; so it eventually ends up as a Type-1 but it doesn't boot as a Type-1. (The same is true of Xen, for example; it boots as pure Linux and then Xen takes over Ring-0)

        ESXi is literally a bare metal and boots directly into the hypervisor.

        Workstation and Fusion, once spawned, are hosted applications, but still have direct hardware access to hardware if you're on a box with hardware-assisted virtualization instruct

        • by lgw (121541)

          It's a distinction without a difference. ESXi is just a very limited OS aside from its hypervisor duties, but it's enough of an OS to run other applications on, such as virus scanners.

        • The same is true of Xen, for example; it boots as pure Linux and then Xen takes over Ring-0

          No it doesn't. Xen boots and then launches a PV guest as dom 0. The PV guest starts in ring 1 in x86 or ring 3 on x86-64 with the CPU already in protected mode. The kernel entry point is also different for PV guests, so that you can have a single kernel binary that boots as a PV guest or a bare-metal OS. With newer Xen, the dom 0 guest can be PVH, so it runs in ring 0, but with Xen in the hypervisor 'ring -1' mode. It still starts via the Xen entry point, however, not the normal boot process.

    • by fa2k (881632)

      All right that's it, kind of off topic but I'm creating a separate user for firefox. Have thought about it for months, the applications are really not well enough sandboxed, even in linux. See you later, when my firefox will be logged in as "browsing".

      • by fa2k (881632)

        Done & done , Using KDE's "run as" (that was quick :) I already don't give "others" read access to my /home, and I never log in as "browsing", just start firefox, so I think i should be safe-ish.

      • by dbIII (701233)
        Why think for months about something that takes seconds to setup?
        useradd (or a GUI that does the same thing), sudo that_new_name, firefox - then if you want ten more seconds to setup an icon for the command "sudo that_new_name -c firefox".

        From then on that otherfox is a click away.
    • I use a Linux VM for all surfing in VirtualBox. Surfing directly from your base OS seems incredibly risky to me, particularly if the base OS is Windows

      Don't run Windows as your base OS. Problem solved. ;)

      By the way, I would think that running Windows as the host and using a guest OS in a virtual machine exclusively would make software installation unnecessarily difficult... or at the most, very weird and awkward. Unless your intention in Windows is to play games or do something else you need fast 3D acceleration, it seems to me that running Windows as the guest would make the most sense. Keep Windows self-contained in a little sandbox in its own virtual

    • That's a good idea. Because browsers are not now secure, and in the future, with all the Web Application features being added, it will only get worse.
    • by neonKow (1239288) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @07:13AM (#44235973) Journal

      Unfortunately, pretty much everything anyone wants to digitally steal from you is on your browser.

      Source:
      http://xkcd.com/934/ [xkcd.com]
      http://xkcd.com/1200/ [xkcd.com]

    • On the Xen mailing lists, PCI passthrough and VGA passthrough---the latter is the same as the former, except it also loads the VGA BIOS from the PCI device into the guest VM; you get VM BIOS video on the video card too---are a very hot topic. I have a single computer with an AMD 8-core chip in it that hosts four "heads," each is a separate gaming computer for my friends to use when we play DotA 2.

      Anyway, if your system supports VT-d for Intel or IOMMU for AMD, you can create virtual machines and pass vide
  • by Chirs (87576) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @11:24AM (#44225961)

    Our corporate IT guys mandated that we use virtualization as much as possible, even for the build machines. This caused significant increases in compile-time because the I/O to the large-scale NAS wasn't nearly as fast as a physical local disk.

    • definately sounds like the wrong SAN for the purpose.

      the SAN we use gives much better I/O than local disk, and the multipath 10gb iscsi gives quite the performance boost.

      It's also possible your vm admins are overprovisioning the hosts your build machines are on. either intentionally or unintentially.

      • by leuk_he (194174)

        Of course you can throw more iron at a problem. But bare to metal can be hard to beat. One thing to notice is that the response time of a SAN over the network can be considerably slower than a close to metal local file system. Even if the bandthwidth is better, you still can expierence speed diference.

        Anyway, any policy without communicating the full reason of the policy (price/security/performance) can suck, especilly in large organisations.

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      Our corporate IT guys mandated that we use virtualization as much as possible, even for the build machines. This caused significant increases in compile-time because the I/O to the large-scale NAS wasn't nearly as fast as a physical local disk.

      Virtualization platforms offer so many solutions for that problem (direct access to SSD/local storage, direct access to optimized SAN storage, etc) that this is basically all the implementer's fault. Your virtualization is bad and you should feel bad.

      • by idontgno (624372)

        Your virtualization is bad and you should feel bad.

        I'm pretty sure the phrase "significant increases in compile-time" is not an expression of joy and pleasure. Unless GPP really enjoys office chair fencing [xkcd.com].

        It's far more likely that the people who suffer most from these bad decisions and worse implementations are also the ones who have the least say in the bad decisions and worse implementations. That's certainly my experience. Management tends to be more impressed by a really low-cost BOM than arguments t

    • by SQLGuru (980662)

      I do software consulting. I create a new VM for each new client. My host is my "day to day" programs (like e-mail) and then I keep my client's stuff isolated from any other client. I think if I ever went back to working for a single company, I'd probably have a similar model where each project was worked on in a VM.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Our corporate IT guys mandated that we use virtualization as much as possible, even for the build machines. This caused significant increases in compile-time because the I/O to the large-scale NAS wasn't nearly as fast as a physical local disk.

      NAS is definitely the wrong application.

      You want SAN, a semi decent SAN connected by fibre will be faster than SSD's on a SATA 3 connections. Plus you get the the other advantages of SAN's (redundancy, high availability). As a sysadmin I once maintained a few build and test VM's running from a AX4 and had zero complaints, which is odd for developers, they normally complain about everything. They were happy to have their source control virtualised too, after their physical box went tits up and they had no

    • by mjr167 (2477430)
      I get to type a key and wait cause my virtual machines are hosted on the other side of the country from where I work and we have slow internet.
    • by Zeromous (668365)

      This is baloney and absolutely proven FALSE. I wish I could share my data, but at scale of thousands of machines, with a properly configured SAN infrastructure this is completely developer FUD/bunk.

  • by snarfies (115214) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @11:32AM (#44226079) Homepage

    I'm not planning to update my PC anytime soon, but for my next PC, I plan to get a CPU with as many cores as I can obtain (today, an AMD FX 8-core) and install Linux as my main OS. Any gaming I can't do with WINE I will run through a VM running Windows 7.

    • Re:My plan (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wagnerrp (1305589) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:36AM (#44238189)
      AMD doesn't make an 8-core FX. The make a 4-core FX with bonus integer units.
  • The question doesn't really specify much about how VMs are used. I use a laptop and desktop with straight-booted Windows and Ubuntu for a variety of things, when I want a dedicated machine (normally either for video games or something CPU/GPU intense like Image/Video processing), but I host local VMs on those machines when I'm multi-tasking (which normally means programming or data manipulation on one hand and Netflix and web browsing on another).

    BUT, I only use VMs on my "servers"... boxes with more consi

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @12:12PM (#44226551)

    Is it referring to our professional responsibilities, or to our personal computing habits?

    At work we use VMs for a good percentage of our servers. At home, though, my VM use is quite limited.

    • At home, though, my VM use is quite limited.

      I'm about ready move all of my web browsers into VMs because the state of PC security is so abysmal right now.

  • My entire infrastructure is virtualized.
    I have transformed my entire data-center from 1to1 physical servers to large clusters hosting many virtual machines on both VMware and Hyper-V.
    and a previous poster nailed it on the head

    Where's the "I am sick of these thinly veiled Dice bullshit marketing polls" option? I'm done voting in these things.

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      My entire infrastructure is virtualized.

      I have transformed my entire data-center from 1to1 physical servers to large clusters hosting many virtual machines on both VMware and Hyper-V.

      and a previous poster nailed it on the head

      Where's the "I am sick of these thinly veiled Dice bullshit marketing polls" option? I'm done voting in these things.

      Why do they need to encourage you to vote, when they can get you to lay out exactly what your position is on virtualization?

  • I have a VM running on a cloud server which has a full Linux install, Java, Eclipse and Android dev libraries. That way, I don't have to stick with one, particular laptop or desktop machine when I want to play with it. So long as the machine I'm physically using can handle SSH and X-windows and has a reasonably fast connection to the Internet, I'm good.

    Also, most computers can be booted from a Linux Live CD, hit the VM and let me do what I want to do without actually installing anything on said computer
    • I wonder how hard it would be to write a virus to detect vmware tools or virtualbox guest extensions and use it to infect the host.

      • by h2oliu (38090)

        There is malware that actually doesn't run if it is on a VM. This is in an effort to make reverse engineering/monitoring of the malware more difficult. I always thought that it also severely limited it's target, but if you are going after end-users, the limitation is probably irrelevant.

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @03:05PM (#44228911)

    All my boxes have some type of hypervisor on them, be it a level 1 hypervisor like on my home desktop box that runs Windows Server 2012, or a level 2 hypervisor like my MacBook running Parallels.

    Lots of advantages with this type of setup:

    1: I can do my Web browsing in a VM on a remote machine, so if the remote Web browser is attacked, it would take some doing to get to a machine that is just acting as a keyboard/monitor. Plus, I can roll back the compromised snapshot. Not 100%, but good enough for most tasks.

    2: Snapshots. Bad Windows patch won't allow the box to boot, roll back to previous snapshot. No reinstalling or restores necessary.

    3: Compartmentalization. I have some old rickety utilities that need an older environment to run, and the energy cost of an older PC is pointless compared to running it on a newer box.

    4: Hardware independence. I upgrade my VM server, copy the virtual disks, and the VMs don't know/care.

    5: Backups. If I copy the VM and its drives somewhere, I know it is backed up completely.

    6: Adding more hosts. I like having different machines for different tasks, so having multiple VM disk images stored on a deduplicating filesystem allows for applications to be separate but without wasting disk space for each separate instance of the OS.

    7: Security. I toss the VM's image files in a TC volume. This provides decent security, although not perfect (still vulnerable to Firewire RAM snooping, cold RAM attacks, etc.)

    • I'd add development environments to the list of VM candidates. You can get everything setup just the way the build tools like it and keep it separate from everything else. Come to think of it, though, that might mean that dev tools fall into the #3 category above of "rickety utilities".
    • by wagnerrp (1305589)

      1: I can do my Web browsing in a VM on a remote machine, so if the remote Web browser is attacked, it would take some doing to get to a machine that is just acting as a keyboard/monitor. Plus, I can roll back the compromised snapshot. Not 100%, but good enough for most tasks.

      You can sandbox this sort of thing just as well with paravirtualization without requiring a full on virtual machine.

      2: Snapshots. Bad Windows patch won't allow the box to boot, roll back to previous snapshot. No reinstalling or restores necessary.

      Snapshots are something that should be included directly in the filesystem or volume manager, and on many systems, they are. Virtualization is not a requirement to achieve this. Boot into a recovery tool, roll back the filesystem, and you're golden.

      3: Compartmentalization. I have some old rickety utilities that need an older environment to run, and the energy cost of an older PC is pointless compared to running it on a newer box.

      Assuming there is some amount of kernel level interfacing that means you can't simply run the utility in a separate environment with legacy libra

  • Unfortunately not all games work on Linux. Even the ones that do, don't all work on Scientific Linux. You can get quite far without VMs, using chroot environments, and I do this to run the Ubuntu userland and Steam.

    For Windows-based games I obviously have to break out the VM. I just installed a second graphics card in my computer, and now have a Radeon 6770 that's assigned to a Windows VM with PCI passthrough. It boots, but I can't use it regularly due to some other hardware that's incompatible with IOMMU.

  • I use VMs, but only for a few specialized tasks

    Isn't that what VMs are for? That's like saying, "I use commas but only for specialized tasks." :p

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I use VMs, but only for a few specialized tasks

      Isn't that what VMs are for? That's like saying, "I use commas but only for specialized tasks." :p

      Depends, As a sysadmin, I run VM's all the time. Most of my datacentre is virtualised and we're working on getting everything we can off of physical boxes into blades that are taking up 1/4 of the space. 2 blade chassis have almost replaced 2 racks of servers. The only things we cant virtualise are the firewalls (we could really, but we've chosen not to). Even out mail filter appliance is virtual now.

      Worksations are going to be the last bastion of bare metal OS's in my life. I suspect in a few years tha

  • My only physical machines are a handful of infrastructure boxes and some boxes that run Oracle software that's not licensed in a manner compatible with virtualization (OBIEE and Oracle database EE), everything else is a VM. I'd be doing VDI but I just can't find anything approaching a positive ROI and so we still do physical desktops, I was hoping one of the VM on desktop with sync to VDI players would work out but either technical problems or pricing have kept me from adopting them.

  • by smash (1351)
    The only physical machines I have are my laptops. And even they run Workstation or Fusion for development work. Servers? Pretty much everything is virtualized, except for storage boxes running FreeNAS.
  • A Windows Vista VM to run Quickbooks accounting software, one of the few things that I really do need (and no, GnuCash is NOT an option) but that won't run under WINE.

    Vista actually seems to run better in the VM than it did on it's own....
  • by Quila (201335) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @12:26PM (#44239983)

    Turtles, all the way down...

  • Unless SSH is your only dev tool, VMs are the way to go. There are so many (breakable) dependencies and versions that install order is critical and systems can easily get hosed beyond repair after automatic updates, etc. So often it's necessary to just wipe and start over. It also makes it easier to transfer pre-set-up VMs to other, especially new, team members (except for copy-protected software like InstallShield that is VM-aware).
  • Emulating a complete machine on linux to run another linux inside? Containers could be a better option for a lot of scenarios. OpenVZ [openvz.org], Linux VServer [linux-vserver.org], or LXC [sourceforge.net] (maybe with Docker [docker.io] to make things easier) have a lot of the advantages of VM with far less overhead and can be targetted to run single processes instead of whole operating systems. You can even run an entire desktop [docker.io] in a container.
  • I have a virtual server at Amazon. It works great and talk about this virtualized machine. Today everything is a cloud even a single synology nas is a cloud. So i use virtualization to describe it. My usb stick however is a "personal wearable offline cloud" (you can stick the cloud label on everything right?)
  • Virtualisation for some reason does wonders for flat storage of many millions of text files and brings the search times (if they even complete on the host!) from approaching infinite to a few seconds.

  • Existing in one form or another since CP67 in, yes, 1967, IBM's z/VM virtual machine hypervisor is arguably one of the most debugged VM implementations around.
  • Yes, I saw a Virtual Box with a guy living in it under the bridge! So I gave him some BitCoins.
  • ... "my MacBook Pro has 9 VMs on it right now, 3 of which are powered on, and I build clouds for a living" choice? ;)

    or even ... "Are you kidding? My VMs have VMs in them."

  • I have a number of virtual machines on my Mac that I run under Parallels including various versions of Linux and Windows. While they all perform very well and periodically I even have several running at once, the one thing that really gets me is the Windows VMs. I don't use them all that often, and when I wake them up it's like waking them from a coma. There's a lull for a bit then, it suddenly becomes aware that there's hundreds of updates for everything under the sun. Windows are popping up, the system tr

  • Me, I use them only for specific purposes. The company on the other hand thinks that thin provisioning means millions of free hosts. <*shrug*> I get a pay check either way, but you won't catch me recommending VMs for anything but testing.

  • Obviously it has it's uses, but for my personal use I've never found a valid reason for using a virtual machine. At least not in the past couple years, as Linux hardware support has greatly improved. I mean, I could use it to make a machine portable, but I only transfer to new hardware every three or four years, so that doesn't seem worth the performance hit. I could use it to run Windows apps on my Linux system, but the last time I *needed* to run a Windows-only app was...........never. Sure, there's occas

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