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Benefiting from I/O Virtualization in 2010 and Beyond

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2010?  Find out in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed Article by Bob Napaa, Virtensys VP of Marketing and Business Development

Benefiting from I/O Virtualization in 2010 and Beyond

I see 2010 as the beginning of a new IT infrastructure refresh cycle. This cycle will not be based only on the standard technology refresh cycle, as in previous years, but will also be driven by the strategic business needs to adapt to the rapid rate of changing market conditions.  IT managers will use data center agility, cost reduction, green IT, and enhanced manageability as the primary criteria in their data center architecture and purchasing decisions.

Server and storage virtualization will become much more prevalent and "cross the chasm" into the main stream, with an increased number of IT managers deploying them in their environments and across multiple platforms. Server and storage virtualization will also make more inroads into the small and medium-size business (SMB) market as benefits of deploying virtualization become more attractive.  

Having said that, there is another area in the IT infrastructure that has not been optimized in the past and that that will play a major role in 2010 in helping businesses meet their increasing requirements. I am referring to the last bastion of dedicated hardware in the data center that has not been virtualized yet: the I/O infrastructure.

2009 saw an increased demand for virtual I/O as IT managers realized that the current method of deploying server I/O was creating bottlenecks in their data centers. For the past number years, there has always been a one-to-one relationship between servers and I/O. This traditional I/O deployment model makes the I/O infrastructure inflexible, over-provisioned, under-utilized, expensive, and complex to manage and maintain.  It also results in wasted energy consumption and increased cooling requirements. Traditional I/O limits IT managers' capability to quickly respond to changing business conditions and take full advantage of server and storage virtualization.

In 2010, we will see a substantial increase the number of IT managers adopting I/O virtualization (IOV) to further increase the agility and adaptability of data centers while reducing their costs and power consumption.  I/O virtualization can be used in non-virtualized environments or integrated seamlessly with server and storage virtualization to create end-to-end virtualized data centers. The most successful IOV solutions will be those that can be deployed "transparently" and without disrupting any of the existing data center infrastructures, including servers, networks, operating systems, applications, management processes, and I/O resources.

IT managers will select products that do not require a steep learning curve or the introduction of new networks in their data center. IOV solutions must be future-proof, which means that they should be able to virtualize the current I/O infrastructure, and, at the same time, seamlessly support new I/O technologies. I/O virtualization will play a major role in the migration towards converged networks and FCoE. It enables IT administrators to deploy converged network technology at a much lower cost and where and when it is needed. I expect IOV to become a mainstream technology across vertical market segments, as the benefits of the technology can be realized in small and large data center environments.

About the Author

Bob Napaa

Bob brings more than 17 years of high-tech experience to Virtensys. He was previously the VP of marketing and business development for System Solution BU at Alliance Semiconductor, responsible for the BU's P&L. Prior to joining Alliance, Bob was at SiPackets since its inception in 2001 as VP of marketing and business development, where he developed the business and product strategy for the company. He was instrumental in the acquisition of Sipackets by Alliance Semiconductor in 2002. Prior to founding SiPackets, Bob spent more than 10 years at IDT, and his last role was the director of marketing for the Communications and Microprocessor division.

Published Thursday, December 17, 2009 5:56 AM by David Marshall
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