VirtualAppliances.net have made some very slick virtual machines available. Currently they are offering a basic static webserver and a Tomcat application server on their website. The images are very light weigth. The basic webserver is only a 11mb download and the Tomcat appliance is just a 53mb download. The appliances are not just available as VMware image, but also as XEN image.

These virtual appliances are really a very good example of what a virtual appliance should look like. They are small, very efficient, have a small footprint and are very easy to work with. When you power on the virtual machine, there is no login prompt, like a true appliance. It just points you to a website from where you can do all the configuration settings. The interface is very nice designed and works very easy.

The Tomcat virtual appliance

You webpages are not actually stored in the virtual machine, but you configure a form a shared storage thru the management interface that can use a NFS or Samba share. The Tomcat virtual machine is configured with 256mb of ram and provides excellent performance. And all this for free! Wow, what a great world we live in 🙂

The appliances are still in beta, but are really already looking very sharp. I am looking forward to see more of these kind of virtual appliances from this company. Hopefully they will make a nice small, secured, single purpose webserver with PHP and MySQL, that would really rock.

Visit the virtual appliance website here