Virtualization, the practice of simulating multiple computers on a single server, was at one time seen as the future of computing. The technology promised a return to a simpler era of computing, a time when robust centralized mainframes and inexpensive terminals were the order of the day. Now cloud computing is bringing virtualization back into vogue, and investors such as Justin J. Perreault of Commonwealth Capital Ventures see a future for companies that can ride the next big wave. Many companies may also use virtualization to cut costs by consolidating servers and shifting more of the workload from desktops.
16 InformationToday January 2010 www.infotoday.com Virtualization: Appealing in a Tough Economy Focus on Publishing (continued from page 15) V irtualization, the practice of sim- pen,” he says, “you get these big quantum and models. While that creates opportuni- ulating multiple computers on leaps forward.” ties for smaller companies, Perreault also by professors everywhere; we call it grad- a single server, was at one time According to Perreault, the release of acknowledges that the continued involve- ing, and editors (real editors) call it copy seen as the future of computing. The tech- Windows 7 created an opportunity for ment of larger corporations such as Micro- editing and proofing. These are tasks that nology promised a return to a companies to invest in new soft and Cisco could lead to major shifts in we rarely do for the amusement of the simpler era of computing, a technologies while migrating the marketplace. Microsoft in particular sport of correcting syntax or verifying some time when robust centralized from aging OS deployments. invested in virtualization in the past few weird strange fact that a writer uncovered. mainframes and inexpensive “People think Windows 7 will years through its 2006 acquisition of de- terminals were the order of drive a huge desktop refresh veloper Softricity and the release of the the day. in the enterprise,” he says, Hyper-V virtual server platform in 2008. Worse yet, I seem While the technology is still adding that most companies Noting that VMware found success used today, the promised thin “sat on their hands” when early on by focusing on the data center and to be ‘friends’ with client (a network computer Vista was launched to mixed server markets, Perreault says Microsoft the same people without a hard disk drive) rev- Justin J. Perreault reviews in 2006. now has the same opportunity with virtu- olution never materialized, Many companies may also alization. “They [Microsoft] own the data over and over again and desktops remained the industry stan- use virtualization to cut costs by consol- center from the network standpoint,” he on these different dard. Now cloud computing is bringing idating servers and shifting more of the says. “It’s a real strategic foray for them virtualization back into vogue, and in- workload from desktops. Perreault ex- to go after the server side.” social networks. vestors such as Justin J. Perreault of plains that by allowing companies to Commonwealth Capital Ventures see a cut hardware costs on both sides of the —Kurt Schiller Further, we are held captive future for companies that can ride the client/server equation, virtu- by bibliography creation systems that next big wave. alization has a “hard dollar will produce long lists of citations but are Perreault compares virtualization to ROI association,” making it never actually cited within the text itself. other design paradigms that changed the an appealing investment Our academic libraries have even offered face of IT, such as mobile computing and even in a difficult economy. such tools for the students for years, so SaaS. Likening such shifts to “profound Perreault believes that actually doing the heavy lifting to make waves that [crash] through the IT in- growth in the industry will Wikipedia better is probably becoming dustry,” Perreault believes that the time focus on existing standards less and less interesting to folks who ac- is ripe for another overhaul, due in part set forth by companies such tually want credit for their work. Today’s to the recession and the ongoing adoption as Citrix and VMware, rather students typically want credit for every- of Windows 7. “Innovation tends to hap- than entirely new systems thing they do, but given the economic times, money may be a better incentive. Escalating When the game was over, he disconnected One bit of technology I highly recom- Internet Waves and turned off his laptop, the ship subse- mend for cruise ships, especially if you’re Commentary Overload (continued from page 15) quently set sail, and Burdick presumably a voracious reader (which describes mos
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