Guide to virtualization: News, expert advice and interviews

With last week's annoucement that Red Hat is going to include Xen, its open source virtualization tool, in its next major release, the steadily growing influence of virtualization reached another plateau. And all the major players are upping the stakes. Cisco Systems has started promoting technology it acquired earlier this year to virtualize at the network level. A virtualization management tool has just been launched by BMC software. And Microsoft is reportedly building the technology into the next version of its operating system. Clearly, if you've been planning to get ahead of the curve on virtualization, the time is now. We've put together this virtualization learning guide to get you started.

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Table of contents
  • Featured News
  • Expert Advice
  • Interviews

     

    Featured News

    Red Hat to include Xen virtualization in next Linux release
    Open source software company Red Hat has announced that the next major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), scheduled for late 2006, will feature a fully integrated server virtualization capability.

     BMC to launch predictive virtualization management tool
    BMC Software recently rolled out a suite of predictive virtualization management tools, aiming to help companies estimate and plan for future virtual machine use.

    Virtualization startup focuses on SMP, management
    IT giants made virtualization a household name this year and newer companies have been eager to get in on the action. Virtual Iron is one of the latest companies to get involved.

    Open Source virtual server software a likely dark horse
    When hardware from Intel and AMD arrives in 2006, Windows shops will have a price-friendly option for server virtualization that comes from the open source community.

    VMware updates let users virtualize larger workloads
    Virtualization software firm VMware recently announced the specifics of the next generation of its x86-based ESX Server and VirtualCenter products, which it claims will enable higher processor-intensive server applications to run in virtual machines.

    HP expands virtualization offerings
    New releases from HP are aimed at making virtualization management faster and easier.

    Sun, VMware join forces
    Virtualization giant VMware recently scored a major partnership when Sun Microsystems announced it would deliver VMware's software onto Sun Fire x64 servers and the StorEdge 6920.

    Virtualization juggernaut opens code to partners
    This week, VMware opened up the source code to its flagship product, VMware ESX Server, to a host of vendors in the x86 space.

    Latest IBM buy will enhance virtualization toolset
    IBM recently acquired Meiosys, a toolmaker whose software allows apps to be transferred from one server to another while they're still running. The technology is called stateful application transfer.

    Gartner: Virtualization a megatrend
    At the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Gartner Inc. vice president John Enck called virtualization a "megatrend," and said it doesn't really matter what kind of server you run it on, as long as you're running it.

     

    Expert Advice

    Virtualization: Motivations and cost
    Tony Iams, vice president and senior analyst, Ideas International, examines all the factors IT professionals must consider when evaluating virtualization solutions such as virtual machines, partitions, resource management server, blade servers, provisioning software, and grid computing.

    Merrill Lynch: Network-based virtualization saves money
    Merrill Lynch believes that implementing network-based virtualization internally will provide immediate cost savings for the company, and further out, that global namespace technology will save it millions of dollars in storage costs.

    Consolidation and virtualization: The same, but different
    While they're similar, these two approaches are also fundamentally different. Managers need to explore how to use both if they want to end server sprawl.

    Golden's Rules: Get server control, virtualization with free, open source Xen
    High octane servers can cause some hassles in the data center. In this tip, Navica Inc. CEO Bernard Golden explores the standard fixes applied when server shoppers go overboard. These include server consolidation and grid computing. Then, he explores another option: virtualization with Xen.

    Virtualization in the data center -- a look ahead
    Try to sell most data center managers on the real joys of virtualization, and you'll find yourself preaching to the choir. Most know the benefits -- consolidation, flexibility and increased utilization. But some managers might not know that they have some big decisions to make about the future of their virtual environments.

     

    Interviews

    Beowulf founder: Virtualization hot on Linux clusters
    Beowulf Project co-founder Donald Becker explains how Linux clusters can make for a no-clutter virtualization option.

    Project in-depth, part 1: Virtualization eases bank's updates, reduces downtime
    Rather than put his IT army of about 100 people to work fighting fires caused by system changes, Mike Bedford, senior systems architect at the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, sought and found a virtualization technology to do it for them. He then discovered that virtualization helped reduce manpower demands and costs in many other ways.

    Project in-depth, part 2: Virtualization too risky for some, but its ROI rules
    When seeking a way to make software and hardware changes less disruptive, senior systems architect Mike Bedford got just what he wanted and more from virtualization. In part two of the interview, Bedford bemoans the fact that some IT vendors won't support virtualization and describes how the bank's heterogeneous IT environment benefited from using VMWare.

This was first published in November 2005

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