Virtualization Technology News and Information
Catbird: Predictions for 2011 and Beyond

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2011?  Find out in this series exclusive.

Contributed Article By Michael Berman, CTO, Catbird   

Predictions for 2011 and Beyond

Predicting the future is hard enough, but now that the Internet prevents us from forgetting anything, we live a world where today's past is even more immutable than the past Omar Khayyam wrote about all those centuries ago:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

  Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

  Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it

Excerpted from the Rubáiyát of

Omar Khayyám

Last time around ( I used Google Trends and made several predictions (see table 1).  Reviewing that article I have summarized my accuracy.

First, a quick review of my past predictions:

2009 turned out to be a big year for Britney and Obama beat McCain quite handily.  However, like a phoenix rising from the ashes of McCain's defeat a new superstar was born: Bristol Palin.  Bristol's amazing run on Dancing with the Stars has shown that the daughter, like her mother, has an uncanny ability to confound critics and pundits alike.

Moving on to my good virtualization predictions, I correctly predicted that VMware would dominate and that the virtualization trend would be unaffected by the bad economy.  Virtualization continues to accelerate and the adoption curve is still on the rise.  I correctly predicted that virtualization security would not be a priority, but only got the market consolidation partly right.  Quite a bit of M&A activity, but my prediction regarding a purchase of parallels was dead wrong.

On the bad side, I completely blew it regarding Microsoft mounting an attack on VMware.  I will revisit this in detail below.  VMware's installed position is vastly improved over two years ago with over 180,000 customer deployments.  This is a big number even in the Microsoft world.  Lastly, I thought Chris Hoff and Simon Crosby would continue their feud (  Here, I was dead wrong.  Chris now works for Cisco and is too politically correct to bad mouth a strategic partner.

My Predictions for 2011 and Beyond

Will Sara Palin run for President?

Governor Palin still enjoys huge media popularity on Fox but Google has a profoundly different view.  As you can see below, she appears to have peaked in the Digerati's interest in 2008.  However, running for President is one part dedication, two parts exhibitionism, and a jigger of narcissism.  Sara Palin will certainly compete for the GOP's nomination and I predict she will represent the GOP in the 2012 campaign.



Palin vs Obama in 2012

Whether you love or hate Palin, it sure seemed like the Obama team used her inexperience as a wedge to defeat McCain.  If presidential elections were run on qualifications, we would have had a short or ugly president by now.  The 2012 election will be about the economy and we can see now that this clearly hurts the incumbent.

While Palin is currently enjoying a small uptick, my prediction: Obama for the win.


VMware, Xen, Hyper-v

Although there may be room for a fourth hypervisor platform, the battle is mostly over.  VMware continues to hold a big lead with server virtualization and Citrix XenDesktop may be unbeatable for VDI.  My prediction: the enterprise will adopt a mixed solution that typically combines VMware with another hypervisor platform for the desktop.  Products from Red Hat and Oracle will win various niche markets but the datacenter will belong to VMware for another two years.


VMware vs. Microsoft

This battle will be fought in two areas: 1) VMware will continue to make moves like Springsource to disintermediate the operating system, that is Windows, from AAAS and SAAS clouds 2) Hyper-V will ride in with Windows, Office, and .NET.  Microsoft's trump card is its very own software license terms - but this is a tricky play to finesse due to antitrust scrutiny.


VMware, outsourcing, layoffs

The VMware juggernaut will continue to accelerate.  Automation tools for provisioning, management and security continue to improve - driving the virtualization ROI even higher.  Unfortunately, I do not see any strengthening in the overall job market and the economy will remain weak for the next year.  This means that CIO's will use virtualization to cut costs while improving service.  The cloud will also grow, but far more slowly unless the cloud providers embrace virtual security and build continuous security and compliance into their infrastructure fabric.



Hacking VMware

Now a regular class at many security conferences, the (in)security of virtualization is becoming better understood.  With the easy stuff already being virtualized, the enterprise must now focus on virtualizing mission critical applications.  While many IT shops have already virtualized critical systems, it's clear that risk management, audit, and security requirements where not part of the architecture or deployment.  Deploying new software without understanding the risks is like wandering around in a thunderstorm.  This comic can help you understand why:


Human beings do not understand any risk that less than immediate.  This leads to us ignoring obvious security issues even when they are staring at you in the face.


About the Author

Michael Berman joined Catbird as Chief Technology Officer in October 2006, with over 20 years experience in system engineering, architecture, design and implementation of secure computing. Michael’s experience in information security is far-reaching, including implementation of C2 UNIX; Fortune 100 enterprise security; and expert support in the prosecution of high profile computer crimes such as “United States v. Robert S. Gordon.”

Michael was previously a principal at IS–DATA, LLC an elite enterprise security design and computer forensic investigation professional services company. He performed hundreds of computer forensic investigations, designed enterprise security solutions and lead security assessments. Michael served in numerous roles for his service customers: ISO 27001 compliance manager, Chief Security Officer and Incident Response Manager.

Prior to IS–DATA, Mr. Berman was the Western Region, VP of Professional Services for Predictive Systems, Inc, delivering security services and assessments nationally to numerous industries.

Michael received his BA in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of California Santa Cruz. He is a Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP 4097) and a member of the SF Electronic Crimes Task Force and High-Tech Crime Investigation Association.

Published Thursday, December 16, 2010 5:30 AM by David Marshall
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