Take Five With Tom Fenton
Scattered Thoughts from a Disheveled Mind
Virtualization is no longer cool, Keith thinks...and he's just getting started.
There's a proud Internet tradition I'd like to uphold for this column.
I'm not above stealing good ideas, wherever they come from. And one of my favorite columns comes from Sports Illustrated's football writer, Peter King. Weekly, King posts his "10 Things I Think I Think" as part of his "Monday Morning Quarterback" blog on SI.com. I'll do half of that, and present "5 Things I Think I Think" about virtualization.
I think that virtualization is no longer cool. What I mean by that is that it's no longer brand-new, and something IT administrators are just learning about. They know what it is, they've used it, they're learning about different ways to leverage it. The products are maturing, and we're entering the next phase: getting the most out of virtualization. It's no longer: "Whoa, look what this can do!" Instead, it's: "How do we get this to work in our data center?"
I think that Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) will take longer to become mainstream than most believe. The simple reason is that it's not simple. VDI is enormously complex, adding a lot of components to your infrastructure. More importantly, it's enormously disruptive, for the most part. Once in place, VDI has big advantages. But the pain of getting there will daunt many, leading to slow adoption.
I think application virtualization is being overlooked and undervalued. Microsoft told me that it sees application virtualization as being at least as important as VDI, and I agree. Isolating applications has tremendous benefits in a data center, and it's not hard to set up, compared to things like virtual networking, for example. Security advantages alone are enough reason to virtualize applications; eliminating conflicts with the OS and other applications are other great reasons.
I think "Windows XP Mode" in Windows 7 will be the best thing about Microsoft's newest operating system. There are lots of things to like about Windows 7, due out Oct. 22, but none more so than XP Mode, which is essentially Microsoft's Virtual PC built into the OS. No more issues with broken applications. Brilliant work, Redmond.
I think that I have no idea who the virtualization leader will be five years from now. VMware still has the lead, technology-wise, but that gap is rapidly being closed by Citrix and Microsoft. And who knows what will happen with Oracle, currently the biggest threat to join that twosome as prime competitors to VMware? Microsoft can't be outspent, but VMware can still out-focus it. VMware does nothing else, and does it very well.
Bonus Thing I Think I Think: I think the Redskins will win 10 games this year. If the offensive line falls apart, downgrade this prediction to six wins.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.