Keeping You on the Cutting Edge

Early in my editorial career, I'd occasionally cross paths with a well-known, well-connected and highly paid consultant who once declared, "Once the trade press stops writing about a technology, users start to use it." That may have been the case back then, but with the rapid rate of change in today's virtualization industry, many users are finding that they need to get going on virtualization sooner rather than later or risk the possibility of suffering from a competitive disadvantage. This may not always be the case in large enterprises, where some form of virtualization can usually be found. It is truer for small and midsize businesses, who need to deploy every competitive weapon they can get their hands on.

Mindful of that need, I feel confident that we won't be underestimating the needs of our readers by providing this issue's reviews, columns and articles on cutting-edge topics such as building private clouds and evaluating storage virtualization.

Our private cloud cover story is a good example of a piece that current and potential private cloud users will find useful. Written by Eric Beehler, a consultant who has written extensively on IT topics such as virtualization, creating backups and disaster recovery, this in-depth article describes private clouds that are based on hosted services and accessed by users behind a firewall, as well as those that are hosted by internal organizations. It goes on to discuss the importance of automation and utilization, before wrapping up on a cautionary note, noting that because private clouds are inexpensive, they require a well-thought-out return on investment.

This issue's storage virtualization story is by David Strom, an industry expert who has distinguished himself in a variety of capacities, including editor in chief of Network Computing, Tom's Hardware and DigitalLanding.com. In his illuminating piece, he identifies key storage-virtualization trends, describes the user companies that are driving them, and generally provides the kind of hands-on knowledge that makes life easier for current and potential users.

In my UpFront Q&A with Soni Jiandani, VP of marketing at Cisco's Storage Technology Group, she says that virtualization brings "immense value" to Cisco's much-ballyhooed Unified Computing System (UCS), and goes on to say that virtualization is "blurring the lines between computing, networking and storage." It sounds like UCS has been very good to virtualization.

Following up on our December/January Point-Counterpoint showdown between Citrix XenDesktop 4 and VMware View 4, we offer a comprehensive, hands-on review of VMware View 4. Written by Alan Maddison, a consultant who has written about a wide variety of IT topics, the review begins by providing an overview of VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure perspective, takes note of its vSphere support and then describes the product's key components. In addition, it asserts that View 4's use of Teradici's PCoIP protocol clearly reflects VMware's focus on surpassing competitors such as Citrix XenDesktop and its HDX technology-without saying the market leader will. Although Maddison lauds View 4, he also notes that it creates VMware back-end environment lock-in, which puts it at a disadvantage against XenDesktop.

Staying in review mode, we also have a piece by Joe Clabby, president of Clabby Analytics, on Veeam Backup & Replication 4, in which he describes how the new product automates repetitive tasks and simplifies systems backup and replication processes, providing Veeam users with an opportunity to reduce human-related IT labor costs.

There's plenty of good material packed into this issue, so happy reading. Going forward, I intend to continue providing the kinds of articles that our research shows readers want. Please let me know what you'd like to read by e-mailing me at bhoard@1105media.com.

About the Author

Bruce Hoard is the new editor of Virtualization Review. Prior to taking this post, he was founding editor of Network World and spent 20 years as a freelance writer and editor in the IT industry.

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