Article

Share keynote explores cloud computing, virtualization

Mark Fontecchio, News Writer

SAN JOSE – IBM Vice President of Systems Software Development Helene Armitage gave the keynote address at the Share user group conference in San Jose on Monday, where she focused on themes such as about virtualization, energy consumption and cloud computing, but not much about the mainframe.

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Armitage's speech, entitled "Virtualization and the Future of the Data Center," took a broad look at the computing industry and the issues that data centers confront. The key to the future, she stressed, is to architect data centers to handle future loads:

It was a message that Pamela Taylor, Share's vice president, said was a good one for folks to hear, adding that it's important to "back up and take a holistic approach" (see video clip below).

Armitage said that one way companies can alleviate data center capital costs is by outsourcing as much as possible: that is, the data center infrastructure, the server and other IT hardware, and now even the applications. She also discussed cloud computing – the new buzzword in the IT industry – and how it can play a part in the battle over rising data center costs.

But how much of cloud computing is hype, and how much of it is the reality of the future? Mainframer Howard Simanek who works at insurance company Aegon USA gave a user's perspective on cloud computing, and it wasn't as skeptical as you might think. Following that is another clip from Taylor talking about cloud computing as an "emerging" technology that some companies like Amazon have already exploited.

IBM's Armitage also discussed virtualization, which for decades mainframers have used on big iron. But over the past few years, the popularity of VMware and other x86 virtualization vendors has brought the issue to the forefront. In the first clip, Armitage discusses how x86 virtualization continues to trail mainframe virtualization but is quickly catching up. Following that, Simanek talks about his shop's use of virtualization and zLinux on their company's mainframes.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Mark Fontecchio, News Writer. You can also check out our mainframe blog.


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