[vbox-dev] In need of facts

Maxime Dor maxime.dor at altherian.org
Fri Mar 22 00:52:56 PDT 2013


Now and then, I keep having the same chat about the different
virtualization products available around, and I keep arguing about what
Virtualbox actually is with some of my colleagues.
All of this just makes me doubt in the end and therefore, I was hoping on
the input of one of the devs to clarify some points.

The discussion is usually about the type of Hypervisor that Virtualbox is.
If you look around, or in Wikipedia, you see at least two types of
hypervisor : type 1, also called bare metal, and type 2, running on top of
an OS.
The topic is usually about the fact that ESX is a type 1 and is just better
than Virtualbox, being a type 2, usually under the missconception that
Virtualbox does not access kernel features.

So my understanding of Virtualbox is as follow :
1. Virtualbox, irrelevant of its type, has kernel mobules and can run an OS
just as fast as ESX or other products, and on the same "depth" as ESX
2. ESX is basically a redhat with a lot of customization, so a software
sitting on top of an OS
3. Virtualbox could be made bare-metal if a debian (per exemple) was
customized especially for it, ending up on the same level as ESX (only
taking into account the virtualization part).
4. This kind of discussion is therefore a bit pointless

Am I understanding right, or is the line more blurry than that?
Can Virtualbox access the system and the hardware at the same "depth" as
ESX (not taking into account what is actually implemented)?

Thank you in advance for your inputs.

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