I’ve always been fascinated with virtualization. I remember back in my high school days, I had to duel boot my desktop with Windows and Linux because I wanted to use both operating systems. Then I got my hands on a copy of VMWare Workstation and it was huge! I could have virtual desktops for every operating system that I wanted!
Fast forward to 2017, most of the servers that I manage are virtualized. Early on when I was first just getting started with server virtualization, my go to platform was VMWare ESXi and it still is a great product. However, nowadays if I need a bare-metal virtualization server, I typically go with Citrix XenServer just because it feels more polished.
Surprisingly, I’m typically not a fan of the Windows Server family unless I really have to run something that requires Windows Server (Active Directory, Exchange, IIS, etc) but their Hyper-V hypervisor is really great! I use it whenever I can’t dedicate an entire server to a bare-metal virtualization server.
Then there’s personal use. It should come as no surprise that if I’m in need of a virtual machine for testing purposes, etc on my personal equipment, I just use Oracle’s VirtualBox. Other than because it’s free and open source, it’s cross platform so it runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.
So there you have it. I don’t really have a favorite virtualization platform. As with most things, I just choose the right tool for the job.