What I've Learned About Virtualization

If you're lucky enough to get the print version of Virtualization Review, keep it -- it's almost guaranteed to be a collectors' item. Virtualization technology changes so fast, that issue will be a true antique in just a few month's time.

That's why you need to read every issue of Virtualization Review, bookmark our Web site (VirtualizationReview.com) and sign up for our new newsletter. All of these tools will track this new industry, explain the latest inventions, show how to use them and define why they're so important to your shop.

Perhaps the most interesting fact is that you're holding a brand-new magazine. Media pundits claim that print is dead, and the Web is everything. These self-appointed gurus must not talk to readers. We do. Readers by a massive margin love the experience of reading a real magazine. They also love the Web and e-mail newsletters.

That's why we're producing all of these with equal passion!

The magazine is where you can relax, take your time and read it wherever you happen to be. Our Web site is where you can search for areas of interest, catch up on the latest news, read a column or two and interact with peers. And our newsletter offers the latest news and analysis of this fast-changing world-delivered straight to your inbox.

I've been a computer journalist since June 1984. Back then virtualization was no big deal, it was just the way IBM mainframes worked. In more recent years, I've been looking at virtualization, but no more deeply than any other area of tech. It's only in the last year, in planning for this new magazine (and Web site, and newsletter!) that I've become a student of virtualization. Here's what I've learned:

  • Virtualization is driven by geniuses from around the world, including a heavy-hitting contingent from Russia -- one more reason to celebrate the end of the Cold War!
  • Every company and their brother are jumping into this market. Scores of startups are inventing brand new approaches, and established companies such as Symantec are tuning their strategies to embrace virtualization.
  • Many analysts feel that desktop virtualization is the kiss of death for today's PCs. How many of these gurus use laptop computers and how exactly are we to serve up desktop applications when you're at 36,000 feet?
  • Microsoft already has much more market share than you think.
  • The hypervisor may be a commodity, but that doesn't mean it doesn't matter. If virtualization is indeed a platform -- those who control the platform gain the third parties, and have a huge advantage over everyone else.
  • Green computing is not the main driver of virtualization, but is an awfully nice side benefit.
  • Storage virtualization will be a wave every bit as big as server virtualization. Once you get hooked on server virtualization, you won't be able to resist virtualizing your storage.
  • In the next 12 to 24 months, many of the top startups will be swallowed up by the big guys -- VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, IBM, HP and Dell -- to name a few.
  • Apple will largely miss the virtualization wave because the company isn't exactly hardcore about servers, or even IT for that matter. Big mistake, Steve!

How are you using virtualization, and what are you eyeing next? Let me know what you're working on and what your future plans are by writing dbarney@1105media.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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