Qumranet’s Solid Ice - Virtual operating systems on steroids

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Virtual operating system applications like VMWare, Microsoft’s Virtual PC and Linux Xen have been around for ages, but startup Qumranet claims its Solid Ice product can do things cheaper, faster and prettier.

San Diego (CA) – Virtual operating system applications like VMWare, Microsoft’s Virtual PC and Linux Xen have been around for ages, but startup Qumranet claims its Solid Ice product can do things cheaper, faster and prettier.  The company showed off the application at the Demofall 07 conference in San Diego, a conference where presenters only have a few minutes to wow the crowd.  During the presentation, CEO and co-founder Benny Schnaider demonstrated how easily virtual machines could be created and also how streaming media could be played inside those machines.

While Qumranet is a startup, it does have extensive experience in making virtual machine technology because much of the company’s code is part of the Linux KVM virtualization project.  The Solid Ice virtual operating systems are actually run from a centralized server and the keystrokes, audio and other media are streamed to client machines through the network.

Solid Ice uses a new protocol called Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments (SPICE) which promises to be more efficient than other virtual machine protocols.  The company claims dozens of virtual Windows operating systems could be run simultaneously from a relatively inexpensive dual-core server.

The SPICE protocol also allows virtual operating machines to play movies and stream the video to the client machine.  Schnaider demonstrated this by running a Windows XP virtual machine and then playing the Matrix movie through Windows Media player.