Contributed Article by Joseph Hand, Senior Director of Product
Strategy, AppAssure Software
roots go back to the 1960s and IBM, where programmer Jim Rymarczyk was deeply
involved in the first mainframe virtualization effort. According to a NetworkWorld article, IBM's
CP-67 software used partitioning technology to allow many applications to be
run at once on a mainframe computer. While its impact was substantial for
mainframe users, it took years before a direct descendant of IBM's work came
back to life on X86 platforms. In fact the existence of virtualization as a
concept went largely unremarked for the nearly two decades of the rise of
client/server on x86 platforms. Still, it served as a powerful inspiration for
VMware to reviving the concept and apply it to x86 machines.
the late 1990s, the issues that made caused IBM to application virtualization
on its mainframes had begun to impact IT administrators substantially enough
for VMware to step in and begin to apply its own virtualization model. These included low x86-platform server
utilization, where perhaps 10-15% of server capacity was used, and rising costs
associated with electrical power use, cooling and a fast-growing server and
increased complexity came expanding administrative costs driven by the need to
hire more experienced IT professionals, and the need to carry out a wide
variety of tasks, including Windows Server backup and recovery. These actions
required more manual intervention in processes than many IT budgets could
support. Server maintenance costs, especially those tied to Windows Server
backup, were climbing and more personnel were required to work through an
increasing number of day-to-day tasks. Just as important were the issues of how
to limit the impact of server outages, improve business continuity and create
more robust disaster recovery plans.
VMware addresses the issue
1999, VMware introduced virtualization to x86 systems, which VMware points out
were not designed for virtualization in the way mainframes were. The problem
centered around nearly 20 instructions that could cause application termination
or system crash when they were virtualized. VMware addressed this with what it
called an adaptive virtualization routine that contained the instructions as
they're generated and allows other instructions to be passed through without
intervention. With this breakthrough they were first on the market with a
product that slowly began to attract attention, then accelerated to the point
where by 2008, a significant percentage of companies had begun to virtualize a
small portion of their not-business-critical applications, and they began
carrying out Windows Server backup on their new virtual machines.
Piling on the bandwagon
By the late 2000s, VMware had attracted
quite a bit of attention and they were joined by several other vendors offering
virtualization solutions, some with better Windows Server backup solutions than
others, though VMware continues to hold steady with nearly a three-quarter share
of the hypervisor market. Only Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor has garnered a
significant percentage of the rest of the market, followed by Citrix's
XenServer. Still, the potential for the market is so big that the competition will
continue, augmented in part with a fast-rising investment in the sector by
companies like Amazon, Microsoft, MSPs and longtime IT industry players who
offer virtualization as part of cloud and offsite computing services.
Obviously virtualization is here to stay. How do you
think it can help your organization, and how does it affect your Windows Server
backups, Hyper-V backups or VMware backups? Share your comments below.
To learn more about keeping your data safe and backup and
recovery on virtual machines, visit AppAssure and download a free
trial version of Backup and Replication software.
About the Author
Joseph Hand is the Senior Director of Product
Strategy at AppAssure Software, focusing on virtualization for AppAssure's VMware backup and Hyper-V backup and addressing how they can work together to
leverage technology to solve today's problems facing the modern day enterprise.