Sun Microsystems said on Wednesday that it has upgraded its x VM VirtualBox desktop virtualisation software to version 2.1. It has introduced a range of enhancements to the software including accelerated 3D graphics and improvements to network and storage performance, Sun said
The company also points out that support for the product from the user community is growing very quickly and it recently surpassed 8 downloads, 2.5m of which are registered users.
VirtualBox is free and open source desktop virtualisation software with features for developers and end users. It support most popular environments including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris and OpenSolaris. It is free but enterprise 24/7 support is charged at $30 (£20) per user per year.
The new features include:
Accelerated 3D Graphics: It uses the industry standard application programming interface (API) for the Open Graphics Library (OpenGL) for support allowing users to run applications like Google Earth and CAM-based software that are popular among heavy users of imagery like industrial designers, automotive and robotics engineers, architects, etc.
Enhanced network performance: Makes network intensive applications like rich media (video, audio, interactive media, etc.) faster, Sun said. In addition, with new bridged networking configurations on Windows and Linux platforms, xVM VirtualBox software helps to deploy server applications in virtual machines, allowing customers to deploy Web stacks like LAMP or SAMP.
Storage support: Comes with built-in iSCSI support to connect to storage systems, such as Sun's Open Storage appliances, the Sun Storage 7000 family, (known as "Amber Road)." This feature enables better management and sharing of virtual disk images, Sun said.
There is also more support for Mac OS X on Intel Virtualization Technology (VT-x), improved support for VMware's virtual machine disk format (VMDK) and Microsoft's virtual hard disk (VHD) file format, for better transfer of critical business information and support for the Intel Core i7 processor.
Also there is support for 64-bit guest OS's on 32-bit host platforms which lets users run 64-bit guest OS's on 32-bit host platforms without the need to upgrade the host OS while taking advantage of multi-thread applications, Sun said.