Apr. 9, 2008 SDF Virtualization

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On April 9, 2008 at SAP in Palo Alto SDForum presented “Virtualization: The New Frontier”. IDC’s John Humphrey moderated a panel with Raju Bopardikar of LeftHand Networks, Simon Crosby of Citrix, Bob Quinn of 3Leaf Systems, Roland Wartenberg of SAP and Peter Sonsini of NEA.Text stolen from DJCline.com.

Virtualization is driven by commoditized hardware and software, energy and upgrade costs. Soon more than half of all applications will be running virtual. There are unique opportunities for investors in servers, storage, network and applications for service centric or cloud computing.

Virtualization is more than emulation like VMware. It is more than an independent software layer that supports an operating system.

Successful virtualization should be invisible to the end user. When you turn on a light you don’t care where the electricity comes from. Virtualization means you won’t care where your data is stored or how it is distributed. You just want use it and pay only for what you use.

There are dramatic improvements on the hardware side. Silicon switches now a have latency to transition in under a hundred nanoseconds. Bandwidth is in excess of a terabyte. Multicore chips can be swapped without interrupting service.

One potential idea for the future is accessing the past. Virtualization allows the use of legacy applications long after their original hardware is gone. Why migrate a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that runs on Windows 95 if you can just open it up on your new machine?

Another idea is a virtual appliance that can be transferred from older hardware to newer faster ones. You could learn one e-mail or messaging application and not have to learn another every time you buy a new cell phone.

Virtualization could be the next big thing that lets you still do the last big thing.

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