News From VMware, Microsoft Portends a Year of Change

by Amy Newman

Virtually Speaking: Does a new desktop OS from Redmond and a new COO at VMware foreshadow the year to come? Plus, some recommended articles about virtualization from around the web.

It would be hard to argue with the idea that 2008 was the year virtualization went mainstream. No doubt this growth trajectory will continue in the new year. Two things that surfaced in recent days that merit closer observation, as they will likely shape up into something bigger in the next few months:

  • Windows 7 Is Out: Well, not officially. But the cat is out of the bag, and it will soon be sent to beta. It's too early to tell whether it will have an impact on desktop virtualization or vice versa, but it's a safe bet that there will be some disruption to either the Microsoft model or the virtual desktop nirvana that is becoming increasingly expected.
  • VMware Grows Its Management Team: As of Tuesday, Former Borland President and CEO Tod Nielsen is now on board as chief operating officer. Prior to Borland, Nielsen held exec management positions at BEA and Oracle and spent 12 years at Microsoft. Hard to believe VMware has gotten this far without someone in a COO role, and Neilsen brings with him experience from companies in the space in which VMware now competes.

For the most part, however, the focus this week appears to be on regrouping and gearing up for 2009. In that vein, here are some interesting articles worth reading as you ponder your virtualization strategy for 2009. Feel free to send links to me to any others you believe stand out for possible inclusion.

Virtual Servers Update: VMware vs. Microsoft vs. Xen: This is an updated version of a perennial classic. Although it was published nine months ago, much of the information still stands, and is worth a read for anyone considering a virtual deployment. The original is interesting as well, especially when read in context.

Helping Storage Keep Up With Server Virtualization: Enterprise Storage Forum looks at what happens when virtualize your server environment without taking storage into consideration. Hint: It's not pretty.

KVM vs. Xen vs. VMware. Is it a Hypervisor War? A look at whats going on in the open source hypervisor world.

Windows Virtualization: Get Started With Hyper-V: If you haven't yet taken Microsoft's hypervisor out for a spin, this tutorial steps you through how to get started.

Automating Software Testing with Microsoft Hyper-V: Once you're up and running, testing is key. This article explains how to automate the process for Hyper-V.

The Ins and Outs of Virtualized I/O: The impact of virtualization on I/O is a dirty little secret most of the virtualization vendors aren't willing to share. Wayne Rash exposes the truth in this article. In another article, he takes a look at what's behind the virtual memory management veil.

Achieving Agility Through Virtualization: Although this article is six months old, it raises some interesting points for those still attempting to sell senior management on the benefits of virtualization.

Where are all the Virtual Desktops? Whether its Linux or a thin-client architecture, the desktop is almost always a tougher sell than the server. Why is that, and will 2009 be the year of change?

Amy Newman is the managing editor of ServerWatch. She has been following the virtualization space since 2001.

This article was originally published on Wednesday Jan 7th 2009
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