It's virtual everywhere

In my last post I had spoken about the VMware virtualization seminar. Coincidentaly I had to do some work on virtualization for an important client of mine. As I was going through lot of literature related to virtualization, what stuck me is the inroads that virtualization is making into multiple spheres. Ofcourse I have always been a server and storage guy and looked at virtualization as something more related these areas. It was quite instructive to learn that virtualization is being used in various other areas as well.

Take the case of networking. I was aware of Virtual LAN(VLAN) and Link Aggregation. I now found out that Cisco has introduced switches that virtualize across switches. That is, they can take two switches, connect them together and show them as a single switch on the network !! User see more ports, it provides reliability and these switches share their routing tables. Of course, Cisco had also implemented the concept of Virtual SAN (VSAN) in their switches earlier.

More interesting is the fact that virtualization is coming on to the mobile. It is going to take some time getting there but efforts are on. ARM is supposed to be providing support for virtualization in its processors and companies like VMware are very serious about providing a Hypervisor for a mobile phone. Individual applications can run in an isolated VM so that when the application crashes, it affects only that particular VM and doesn’t hang your phone. There are challeneges ahead, especially in terms of providing real time response for some applications, power management etc.  I am sure these challenges will be addressed and in a few years time we will see phones with hypervisors.

The coming years are definitely going to see more virtualization in multiple spheres. In cases of servers, I think virtualization is a logical thing to do. I don’t mean from the point of view of consolidating servers, saving costs etc., but as a logical thing to do.  I mean, do you think anyone would buy multiple TVs just because each TV can only show you certain channels? We don’t seem to blink when it comes to running applications. We buy multiple systems just because an application will run only on a certain platform. Since the basic function of a computer is to run an application, worrying about the application should be the priority and not worrying about the underlying OS. Virtualization helps achieve it. It will be too much to ask for a single OS for all systems, isn’t it?

Read an interesting article on how Storage is spreading to different areas. This is an article about Storage usage by Avid, the video editing folks. You can read the article here. A good friend of mine works at Avid. It is instructive to read this article, especially the last couple of paragraphs. It shows how much we take the customer requirement for granted and maybe never ask the customer what they need !!

It’s the year end now and as usual there are lot of articles on 10 Best Whatever of the year. To us Storage folks, we need to follow what is happening in the Industry. This article gives the Top 10 Storage acquisitions that happened in 2008. No doubt this will affect our future as well going ahead.

Wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2008. I will be out after Christmas on a short vacation. Catch up with you next year.