5 Technologies to Watch
When it comes to computing efficiency, IT virtualization has been called a megatrend and one of the best ways to increase server utilization.
Virtualization pools the resources of different machines so that computing power shifts to the areas experiencing highest demand. Virtualization technology enables this capability among multiple machines or among partitions of one machine, which can run different operating systems at the same time. By increasing server utilization rates, virtualization allows fewer machines to do more work.
Virtualization may be just the technology for midmarket CIOs hoping to stop server sprawl. Brad Nickel, data center operations manager at $1.3-billion JetBlue Airways, is designing a 10,000-square-foot data center to replace two 2,000-square-foot data centers. He's using virtualization software (and blade servers) to consolidate 75 single-application servers into five. The move will save the airline about $20,000 a year in rent, utilities and other efficiencies.
Another indication that virtualization is hot: the vendors that are lining up to offer it. Intruding on market leader VMware Inc.'s turf is Microsoft, with its Virtual Server and virtualization capabilities in the upcoming Longhorn. IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., Cisco, BMC Software and several startups are also launching or acquiring technology in the virtualization space, while a new version of the open source Xen debuts next year. Intel and AMD are even working on it at the chip level. Stay tuned.
This was first published in December 2005