Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
One great thing about Linux is its rock-solid nature even when you load it up with as many daemons and services as you like. Yet, often “best practice” dictates you separate out some apps across a couple of servers or at the very least provide a safe development environment which is distinct from your production environment.
Or you might be about to make a serious change in your environment and need a safe way of making a complete backup with instantaneous restore if need be. Or maybe you want to try out different Linux distros without reformatting, but Live CDs don’t let you customise enough and USB sticks are too slow.
The solution to all these problems and more is virtualisation and the key players we check out here are VMWare, XenSource and Microsoft Virtual PC.