Crystal Ball Time: Predictions for 2016

The Dell/VMware deal, the rise of KVM and more.

Every December, everybody says they're tired of end-of-year predictions. Yet those types of articles always get lots of Web site traffic. It reminds me a bit of the way polls consistently show that voters are tired of political-attack ads, yet the candidate who does the most attacking usually wins.

In that spirit, here are a few of my favorite predictions for the virtualization industry in the upcoming year. If any of them prove to be correct, I'll take the credit; if they're wrong, I'll blame circumstances outside my control. You know, just like a politician.

1. The Dell acquisition of EMC will go through, and with surprisingly few hitches. There are rumblings that very complicated tax issues may thwart the mother of all mega-mergers. Don't believe them. Dell and EMC both have armies of lawyers on the payroll, many of whom surely are tax specialists. There would have been Brazil-sized red flags raised if tax problems could have potentially scuttled this deal. If the deal doesn't go through, it will be for some other reason (although I fully expect it to happen).

2. The Dell deal will have almost no impact on VMware. I've spoken to enough people to convince me that Michael Dell has no plans on VMware beyond letting it continue to print money for its parent company. You don't build a brand like Dell without being very smart, and the company undoubtedly noticed that EMC's "no-touchie" oversight of VMware led to good things.

3. KVM usage will soar. The kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) open source hypervisor has been stealthily making its way into more and more datacenters, as Xen is increasingly abandoned as the main alternative to the vSphere/Hyper-V hegemony. It's the default hypervisor in OpenStack, and as hybrid clouds enter the mainstream, KVM comes right along with it. In that way, it's similar to the way Hyper-V gained ascendance, as it was included with Windows Server. More and more vendors are starting to develop management frameworks for KVM, which is further evidence of its growing popularity.

See y'all in 2016.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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