Friday, March 24, 2006

Virtualization in the Infrastructure space

Virtualization has grown in popularity in line with the push by IBM, SUN and HP on each of their interpretations of "on-demand" computing. The increasing adoption of web-friendly technologies such as Apache, PHP and Java has only served to simplify the switch to this new world. In the enterprise arena there are still many barriers to switching. Legacy applications and the natural conservative approach to data center operations has tended to slow the transition. In many cases the adoption of virtualization technologies require fundamental changes in the budgeting for systems in the enterprise. It has been easier to budget and plan for an application to stand alone on it's own server. But the tide is changing. Incremental additions to systems and services will not provide the impetus for change. A step-change event is required. Such events are: Data Center capacity reaches a maximum or a company or data center relocation occurs. These step change events open up the whole architecture issue and provide an opportunity to re-engineer system platforms. The explosion of Web 2.0 applications and the demands for growth that this will place on these developer's web hosters will push the growth in blade technologies and other components of the virtualization revolution. Meanwhile I fully expect the large enterprises to take a softly-softly approach to virtualization. It will be applied in niche areas where budget pressures force the use of these solutions in order to balance performance, scalability and cost.

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