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Modern virtualization technology allows us to run operating systems in a virtual machine that can be hosted on facilities ranging from our laptop to a datacenter in the cloud. It's thus possible to create a virtualized development environment that contains all the tools, applications, and libraries that a programmer requires. This speeds up developer setup time, brings economies of scale, introduces parity between development and production environments, allows the use of platform-specific tools, and simplifies embedded-system development. Using VMs, testers can ensure a pristine environment and access to diverse (virtual) platforms. Deployment is also simplified by packaging all the system's components and setup into a VM appliance. Finally, on the operations side, VMs make it easier for a system to support application provisioning, maintenance windows, high availability, and disaster recovery.
Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2012