Virtualization Technology News and Information
Virtualization Wars - The Past, Present and Future of Virtualization

Check out my latest article on Virtual-Strategy Magazine about the great virtualization war that has been going on for a few years now.  While the war is far from over, it has been one fantastic battle... one after the other... and we all have a great ring side seat to watch and in many respects participate in it.  Here is a snippet from somewhere in the middle:

Are people really using this technology or is it just more media hype?

Virtualization does have a number of challenges to overcome. In fact, in order to get where it is today, one of the biggest hurdles that it had to clear was the notion that it wasn’t a data center, production-ready technology. Once it got beyond the reputation of simply being “cool” and finally achieving its “must have” status, the technology has continued to gain strong momentum. It also gained momentum as it moved beyond just being thought of as a server consolidation tool. In a study based on 150 interviews with early adopters, Andi Mann, an IT consultant with Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), identified that disaster recovery and business continuity were the number one drivers of virtualization. As companies continue to move beyond a single use-case scenario for server virtualization, the excitement around virtualization will only continue to get stronger.

However, like any new technology, when something first gets introduced, naysayers are usually the first on the scene and reporting things louder than most. However, it seems like virtualization was dealt a pretty straightforward and fair hand. Most of the problems, questions or concerns that have been raised by consumers have been completely legitimate.

  • Windows shops feared installation and operation of VMware ESX Server – With its Linux like interface, at first glance the product didn’t seem to fit within the “normal” Windows application parameters and probably seemed too confusing.
  • Linux shops may not have adopted VMware ESX Server quickly because it was a commercial package – Linux operators are more prone to accept open-source software.
  • Lack of training and expertise – To become an early adopter of virtualization basically meant that you had the time and patience to teach yourself the product. There were no training courses or books on the subject. Therefore, with a lack of experts in the field from which to hire, organizations weren’t quick to adopt and implement a technology that it didn’t have an employee pool to pull from.
  • Management cost – While virtualization certainly seemed capable of solving capital expenditure (CAPEX) issues, there seemed to be a gaping hole in operating expenditures (OPEX). Managing a physical and virtual data farm became a complex task without the proper tools being made available.
  • Technical support issues – There have been instances where trying to solve a problem with an application running inside of a virtual machine with a vendor’s technical support group has been challenging. Support specialists may insist that the problem be reproduced on a real server environment to ensure that virtualization isn’t the root cause.

Once the industry started to identify and correct these and other concerns, adoption and proliferation seemed evident.

Ok, so the buzz about virtualization isn’t just marketing fluff or media hype. And even though the term “virtualization” seemed to be going around the IT world like an epidemic, widespread buzz about a product doesn’t always mean that there’s something there. But since that doesn’t seem to be the case with this technology, the next question becomes - are people actually using it? Reports coming from analyst firms such as the Yankee Group, IDC and Gartner seem to signify that the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Check out the article on Virtual Strategy Magazine... here.

Published Wednesday, January 24, 2007 6:27 PM by David Marshall
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