Virtualization 2.0

It’s hard to open any magazine, newspaper or Web site these days without reading something about virtualization.

The concept has taken the IT world by storm, essentially transforming the industry in a mere handful of years — most of that in the past six months.

Virtualization started off as a way to consolidate hardware, reduce costs and enrich the user experience. Today, by enabling computers to share resources across multiple environments, virtualization essentially “transform[s] hardware into software,” according to VMware.com, a software developer and a global leader in the virtualization market. Virtualization software “creates virtual machines and contains a virtual machine monitor, or ‘hypervisor,’ that allocates hardware resources dynamically and transparently so that multiple operating systems can run concurrently on a single physical computer without even knowing it,” the site explains.

Benefits include increased efficiency, cost savings on equipment and energy bills, as well as “high availability of resources, better desktop management, increased security and improved disaster recovery processes when you build a virtual infrastructure,” according to VMware.com.

Though it already has come a long way in a short amount of time, virtualization technology is developing faster than ever. In September, The New York Times reported Cisco Systems was releasing the Nexus 1000V, a new virtual switch that promises to offer greater capabilities than the existing VMware version. What more does the future hold?

One of the next frontiers likely will be mobile technology. With the plethora of devices out there — cell phones, BlackBerrys, PDAs, iPhones — programmers…


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