I admit that, as a technologist, I was late to the virtualization party. I had read up quite a bit on it. But that was about 3-4 years ago. Had wondered then, why and who would you use it?
Fast forward to circa 2008. We’ve started using virtualization for testing our products. As we have parallel streams of development, we need to have several environments to test our stuff out. Earlier we used to share a staging machine for different projects. Now with virtualization, we just install a “fresh copy” of the OS with various softwares (like Apache, Mysql etc) installed and just deploy the project that we are working on. Simple.
Now the teams can get a “clean” environment to test as and when wanted and also we save up on the hardware and maintenance costs.
We use Sun xVM as our virtualization software. So far we’ve run Windows XP and two instances of CentOS on a single PC without any issues. Just make sure that the machine has plenty of RAM and a farily juiced up CPU.