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Cloud Computing: Article

The Next Virtualization Waves Are Forming

We are still in the beginning stages of realizing what virtualization can do. Where do we go from here?

Pete Manca's Blog

The virtualization "waves" are just forming. And while server virtualization is at full crest, there are many more waves behind this that are taking shape and quite frankly, are more significant.

Server virtualization was about saving money. Allowing multiple applications to be consolidated onto a single server saves capital and operational expenses. Reducing the number of servers running in the data center is a good thing, as it also saves some carbon emissions as well. But is that it? If so, that’s more like a ripple than a wave. Don’t get me wrong, reducing power, cooling, server count and consolidating apps is a good thing, but it's not the whole story. Not by a long shot.

I don’t believe that this is it. In fact, I think we are still in the beginning stages of realizing what virtualization can do. It’s really the enabling technology that fuels the ability to create new ways to solve problems that exist in today’s data center.

As with all great technology movements, a core set of technologies must be established first. Server virtualization is one for sure, but what are the others? I/O Virtualization might be the next important cornerstone technology. Without solving this problem, servers continue to be static and inflexible. We might be able to utilize servers more by virtue of the hypervisor, but we can’t exploit them to their fullest extent without the flexibility to change their I/O bindings dynamically. Other key virtualization technologies include file virtualization, data virtualization, and application virtualization. These are keys to making access to applications, data, and resources agile and ubiquitous.

Once the server, I/O, data, and applications are virtualized, the resulting possibilities and opportunities really are endless. These cornerstones open the market for management, security, converged fabrics, and a whole host of technologies that can free up the data center and open new markets.

Expect 2008 to be another banner year for virtualization. The next wave is here.

More Stories By Pete Manca

Pete Manca is CTO and EVP of Engineering, Egenera. He brings over 20 years' experience in enterprise computing to Egenera. His expertise spans a wide range of critical enterprise data center technologies including virtualization, operating systems, large-scale architectures and open standards. In particular, his leadership and experience in virtualization technologies has led to the continued progression of Egenera's advanced PAN (Processing Area Network) architecture. Manca leads product planning by working directly with customers to understand their most difficult challenges and guide Egenera's architecture, hardware and software engineering teams to translate those requirements into solutions. Prior to Egenera, he served as Vice President of Engineering at Hitachi Computer Products America with responsibility for operating systems and enterprise middleware products.

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