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Are You 100% Virtualized?

In my day-to-day communications with potential and existing customers, I'm often asked why Veeam doesn't provide solutions for physical servers. I then ask back, "Why aren't you 100 percent virtualized?"

I'm not trying to be a jerk when I answer their question with another question. I'm truly interested. Why aren't you 100 percent virtualized?

I raise this question because, the way I see it, there are so many benefits to virtualization, why wouldn't you try and virtualize as much of your infrastructure as possible? Better DR, less power, less cooling, more flexibility, the cloud! The list goes on and on. Most analysts agree that all future x86 infrastructure should be running on a virtualization platform.

Truth be told, virtualization is still a "young" technology. Who would have even dreamed of a 100 percent virtualized data center in 2004? At the current rate that virtualization is being adopted, though, I think we're close to the tipping point. If the history of IT tells us anything, it's that new, disruptive technologies can be somewhat slow to get started, but then see a tremendous surge (a wave, if you will) of adoption.

Think of the transition from dumb terminals to the PC. It didn't happen overnight, but took several years. It took several more years for the x86 platform to take over mainframes and become the standard for all new applications in the data center. True, mainframes aren't gone, so I don't think we'll see physical servers going the way of the dodo, but I still feel that there's no reason why 99 percent of your x86 infrastructure can't be virtualized.

So today we have a "chicken and egg" situation. If vendors support both physical and virtual infrastructures, are they prolonging their reliance on physical? For software companies that already have solutions for physical systems, they have to adopt virtualization. For software companies that focus purely on virtualization, does it make sense for them to "back fill" and support physical systems? How many new software companies were "born" out of the x86 adoption wave? How many of them also supported mainframes?

Posted by Doug Hazelman on 07/15/2010 at 12:49 PM


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