Virtualization Technology News and Information
Marines Bring Virtualization to the Battlefield

Check out this latest article from eWeek.  How great is it that virtualization is supporting our troops! 

It was just after the Marine Corps left to help those devastated by the 2005 tsunami in Southeast Asia that Maj. Carl Brodhun first heard about virtualization.

While trying to support some 10,000 Marines—along with other workers from the United Nations—who were called to help with the relief efforts, Brodhun and his team were faced with a problem. They needed to run nine different critical communication applications on only three physical platforms. A young sergeant suggested to Brodhun that they virtualize the physical systems and run the applications from those virtual environments.

The suggestion paid off, and within 36 hours the applications were up and running.

"Marines in the field are faced with technical challenges and they have found ways to make it go," said Brodhun, who serves as the team leader for virtualization at the Marine Corps System Command, in Quantico, Va. "In this case, Marines in the field had too many applications and not enough platforms."

Just as virtualization, the ability to partition a piece of physical hardware into multiple virtual environment, is changing the way enterprises look at the data center, the technology may also change the way the military approaches its worldwide network of data center sites.

Now, the Marine Corps is looking to use virtualization in new ways that could offer a blueprint for enterprises that are ready to move beyond data center consolidation and moving applications off older hardware.

"The military, or the Marine Corps in this case, represent the ultimate global work force," said Pund-IT Research analyst Charles King, who frequently writes about the impact of virtualization in enterprises. "In the last couple of years, the global work force had become much more mobile and much more removed from the home office. The question now becomes, How do you support these employees in these remote offices? The challenge is also not only supporting these employees with robust IT solutions, but how can it be done financially and how do you make sure that those remote locations are secure?"

While the USMC announced in October that it had entered into a long-term contract with VMware—currently the market share leader in the x86 virtualization space—the goal of the Marine Corps is more than mere server consolidation, although part of the plan does call for the consolidation of some 300 data centers worldwide. The use of the technology will help transform its IT infrastructure.

A Marine spokesperson did not return calls seeking comment on the exact dollar amount of the VMware contract.

Read the rest of this article from eWeek, here.

Published Friday, December 21, 2007 9:00 PM by David Marshall
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