IBM has reduced the price of its Mainframe/Linux platform, providing an IBM price point and feature benchmark against which to compare the consolidated offerings which are starting to emerge from competing vendors, such as the Acadia group (Cisco, EMC, or VMware) and HP/Microsoft.
Business Agility ...
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It is clear that once virtualization started delivering hard dollar CAPEX and OPEX savings to IT executives that these executives wanted this trend of “more for less” to continue. Most IT organizations are far from 100% virtualized, and there are still substantial cost savings to be gained from further virtualization. However, forward thinking vendors (like Cisco, EMC, and HP) see the handwriting the wall and are taking steps now to be able to deliver solutions at reduced costs to their customers.
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Virtualization has been a catalyst for significant changes in the performance management business at all layers of the IT stack (from hardware to transaction). These changes have only begun. As the more and more tier 1 applications get migrated over to a virtual infrastructure, these vendors will advance their functionality, and more vendors will jump into the fray. It is also highly likely that over the next 24 months, the larger traditional vendors (HP, IBM, BMC) will get more active in this space – driven primarily by the fact that CA has now gotten active via its acquisition of NetQos.
Coming out of this holiday season there will be many who got new, more versatile, mobile devices and will want to use them to access information from work. In the nearly 15 years since the introduction of the two way pager, mobile device manufacturers have been trying to build a platform for business applications to take on messaging as the next “killer application.” Virtual Desktop Clients may be the application that finally steps up to the task.
Cloud Computing ...
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In the long term, 2009 is likely to be known as the year that a commercial framework emerged around the Open source Hadoop framework for map-reduce.
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Which is better Hyper-V version deploy for production environments? For a traditional server based virtualization project, it makes financial sense to deploy Datacenter, and this is most likely the case for a hybrid deployment of Server and Desktop devices. However, for raw VDI and Open source deployments, it is obviously more fiscally prudent to utilise the free version which has been available for over a year.
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In the article End-to-End Virtual Machine Backup I mentioned the new VMware Workstation 7.0 feature that creates an encrypted disk but in reality it is an encrypted virtual machine, which also implies encrypting the virtual disk. This one option to VMware Workstation is something that is needed within VMware vSphere as well as the other hypervisors. Encrypting virtual disk data can add to the overall security stance based on the encryption technology employed. So what do we need with virtual disk encryption?
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If VMware buys Zimbra it will set off a a nuclear hand grenade throwing contest between Microsoft and VMware. Microsoft is trying to commoditize the layer of software where VMware makes all of its money – the hypervisor. VMware is returning the favor by using open source initiatives like SpringSource and (possibly) Zimbra to commoditize the layers where Microsoft makes all of its money – applications and applications platforms.
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Quite a bit has gone on in our industry in the last year. While this is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all that has occurred, we hope that we have captured the important events that have shaped virtualization and cloud computing.