Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Virtualization

I’m a big fan of virtualization. I love the VMware products (VMware Workstation, GSX Server, and ESX Server) and, as I have mentioned in previous posts, use Microsoft’s Virtual PC product currently (but only because VMware doesn’t have a Mac version of VMware Workstation). I’m looking forward to hardware-based virtualization technologies such as AMD’s Pacifica (discussed briefly here and here) and Intel’s Vanderpool technology. I’m very much hoping that Apple will take the plunge and build in virtualization support in Mac OS X 10.5, aka “Leopard”.

Virtualization is more than just running multiple operating systems on a single computer, though. Virtualization occurs in networking through the use of virtual LANs (VLANs) and virtual private networks (VPNs); both of these technologies are core technologies in today’s flexible networks. Virtualization occurs in storage area networks (SANs) as virtual disks and virtual SANs (VSANs). Technologies such as load balancing via virtual servers (recently read an interesting article on Linux virtual servers) also employ a form of virtualization. Even mundane technologies such as network address translation (NAT) can be considered forms of virtualization, since they abstract a server’s public IP address from its private (actual) IP address.

As IT professionals, it behooves us to embrace new technologies like virtualization, in all its forms. If you haven’t already taken the time to get used to these kinds of products and technologies, now might be a good time.

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