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The Ever-Rising Value and Power of Virtualization

Server sprawl has become a major problem and costs companies a lot of money

When in September of last year former Gartner analyst Theresa Lanowitz wrote here in Virtualization Journal that virtualization was "the leading technology of the 21st century," there will have been many enterprise IT professional who perhaps thought her comment was mere hyperbole.

For all that Lanowitz?s pronouncement came in the immediate wake of the stunning billion-dollar VMware IPO, which was oversubscribed by as much as 25x the number of shares available, she certainly knew whereof she spoke.

Since then of course we've had Citrix buying ZenSource for $500M, which was hailed as a "great day for the virtualization market," and Sun buying Innotek, Microsoft buying Softricity and Kidaro, VMware buying Thinstall - the list goes on.

Virtualization makes it unnecessary for the average user to have to maintain a separate machine for each OS they wish to run. With virtualization, companies can buy fewer servers, more easily manage networks. And that is just the beginning. Virtualization is rewriting the rules of IT management, deployment, planning and purchasing. Virtualization is steadily taking the cost  - and even the complexity - out of IT.

When EMC originally bought VMware (for $635M) back in 2003, the trade press wrote that VMware had "had some success selling its software to companies looking to consolidate several different applications onto the same physical machine, and has, of late, focused on developing management capabilities for its software."

If more clear evidence were needed that many who should have known better thought virtualization would be just a passing IT fancy, then I can't think of it.

The plain fact is that virtualization is a no-brainer for medium to large companies. In today's world server sprawl has become a major problem and costs companies a lot of money not only on server hardware, but power, cooling, support, and square footage. Virtualization potentially addresses all those issues.

Virtualization, as I have mentioned before in these editorials, is not a new concept.

Various techniques that mirror today's virtualization technology were used throughout the 1960s and 1970s to boost performance for shared mainframe systems. In the 1980s and 1990s, as microprocessors became ever more powerful and inexpensive and PC servers replaced mainframe and minicomputer systems, many of these techniques were put aside. Prematurely!

As it became practical and affordable to simply roll out a new server whenever IT needed, the virtualization concept was more or less retired. But now we've come full circle as the costs of housing, powering, cooling and maintaining these servers have been rising and rising, creating a tremendous burden on resources.

For those of you reading this at the 3rd International Virtualization Conference & Expo, you will in New York have a chance to at the Expo to see all this for yourself.

Our exhibitors will: help you understand the unique attributes of all the different virtualization solutions; discuss with you how to implement your virtualization projects. In short you'll:

  • Discover what virtualization is, the many ways to utilize it.
  • Find out about the different types of virtualization.
  • Find out how to select the right hardware needed for virtualization, RAM, CPU, Disk Storage.
  • Discover how to create virtual machines, virtual appliances, resource pools, clusters, and much more.

In parallel, at the fastest-growing Virtualization Conference technical program, covering every aspect of the deep penetration of virtualization into the enterprise, delegates will

  • Find out how other businesses are using virtualization.
  • Catch up with the whole set of new management challenges you need to be aware of.
  • Discover the cost savings obtainable through server consolidation, reduced administrative costs, and greater flexibility.
  • Learn how virtualization can even benefit deeply embedded applications such as cell phones, networking equipment, and point of sales terminals.

Whether or not you are able to make it to New York, keep your eye closely on Virtualization Journal online. To be caught unawares by virtualization once is (perhaps) excusable; to be caught unawares twice is (definitely) not.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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