I just noticed this feature in VirtualBox 4.0.4 called Virtual Appliances. A quick Google search turned up the following description:
“VMWare has a ‘Virtual Appliance Marketplace’ that contains pre-assemblied VM images configured for various purposes. For example, if I want to compared (and learn) django (a python based web framework) and ruby on rails, I could download two images, setup two VM’s and start hacking. No need to configure a LAMP stack, no need to worry about trashing my base system with installs/uninstalls.”
Oh, this is what I have been doing myself internally for a few years now. I build servers generically, then quickly clone them, hack on them until the project is over, then delete them or archive them or revert to a “clean” snapshot. Productivity has been through the roof! Now, it looks like there’s a marketplace for this:
Some of the more interesting appliances:
- Cacti, Nagios
- Exchange 2007
- Openflier NAS appliance
Something to watch, I think.