Release: Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2

Yesterday Oracle released a new update for its hosted desktop virtualization platform VirtualBox, which is now officially called Oracle VM VirtualBox.

Version 3.2, in public beta since March, introduces a number of remarkable new features:

  • Memory ballooning to dynamically increase or decrease the amount of RAM used by a virtual machine 
    (64bit host operating systems only)
  • Page Fusion automatically de-duplicates RAM when running similar VMs thereby increasing capacity.
    (Windows guests OSes on 64bit host OSes only)

  • CPU hot-plugging for Linux guest OSes (hot-add and hot-remove) and for Windows Server 2008 x64 Data Center Edition guest OS (hot-add only)
  • Support for Large Pages through Nested Paging
  • RDP video acceleration
    the VRDP server can redirect video streams from the guest to the RDP client. Video frames are compressed using the JPEG algorithm allowing a higher compression ratio than standard RDP bitmap compression methods. It is possible to increase the compression ratio by lowering the video quality. Video streams in a guest are detected by the VRDP server automatically as frequently updated rectangular areas. Therefore, this method works with any guest operating system without having to install additional software in the guest.
    On the client side, however, currently only the Windows 7 Remote Desktop Connection client supports this feature. If a client does not support video redirection, the VRDP server uses regular bitmap updates.
  • Experimental support for Mac OS X guest operating systems
    (we assume that this works only when the host OS is Mac OS, to comply with Apple EULA, even if Oracle is not specific about the point)
  • Support for deleting snapshots while the VM is running
  • Support for LsiLogic SAS as emulated controller

Oracle has also announced the official new name for the Sun OS virtualization technology for SPARC architectures: once called Sun Logical Domains (or LDoms), now it’s Oracle VM Server for SPARC.