The Circle of Virtualization: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

With half of the first quarter of 2015 already behind us, many IT organizations are in fast-forward mode, making progress on addressing annual projects and goals, including many that involve virtualization. With the plethora of new products and services available, how many of those virtualization projects are based on shifting gears to new vendors or technologies in order to address business and technical requirements?

For businesses that started down the path of virtualization in the 1990s, there were only two options—Citrix and Microsoft—and that path was called server based computing (SBC). In 2001, a start-up named VMware released a server virtualization solution that transformed the industry. Today, Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware have expanded their offerings to include almost every aspect of virtualization, but IT buyers and influencers certainly don’t select products just because of a well-known logo.

Each year, many new vendors, products, and services have been introduced into virtualization, and this subset of IT has become a powerful force in the industry. A few of these new products have been poised to radically transform the industry. And each year, IT buyers have determined that some of these new offerings are the optimal solution to replace or enhance existing products in order to address user requirements, automation, and infrastructure.

All of the technologies that virtualization comprises add challenges and complexity to IT infrastructure. Initially, virtualization infrastructure encompassed principally servers and networks; today, virtualization comprises hypervisors, storage, provisioning, applications, user profiles, network configuration, and more, as well as the integration of these components. In most organizations, many distinct vendor purchases form the basis for virtualization solutions.

Technology is sometimes a series of circles. Years ago, it was not uncommon for a single vendor or just a handful of vendors to service all of the technology needs of an IT organization. Dell in particular is seeking a comeback in this area as a hardware, software, and services vendor that can provide many of the benefits of a one-stop shop.

Cloud or hosted service providers aren’t a new concept from just the last few years, either. The concept of renting computing time has been around since the days of green screens. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, the buzz over application service providers (ASPs) could barely be contained, but the market showed that it wasn’t ready for that concept until about ten years later. For some organizations, 2015 is the long-awaited Year of the Cloud; for others, it is the year to bring IT functionality back in-house.

Virtualization technologies and industry trends are in a constant state of evolution. To keep a tighter pulse on what our readers are planning and doing to refine virtualization within their environments, The Virtualization Practice is running a survey focused on virtualized desktops and application resources. At The Virtualization Practice, the various technologies that encompass virtualization infrastructure and go-forward plans are the focus of analyst coverage. To help us understand what is important to you, please click here to respond to a short survey. This survey addresses items related to your desktop and application virtualization environment and should take only a few minutes to complete. To ensure the validity of survey results, only your IP address is tracked. We appreciate your input and thank you for completing this survey.

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Jo Harder
Jo Harder has been involved with virtualization for over 17 years, long before virtualization was the norm. After holding several sales and marketing positions, she started down the path of bits and bytes while at AT&T/Lucent Technologies. She then moved onto Citrix in 1999, where she became a Senior Architect. Her 11-year tenure included a combination of Citrix Consulting and Technical Readiness roles. After leaving Citrix, Jo provided consulting services for various clients for the next year. In her current role at a hosting provider, she is focused on cloud-based solutions for financial industry clients. In February 2015, she was awarded Citrix Technology Professional. Jo's diverse background of sales, marketing, management, and architectural/technical expertise brings a unique perspective to Virtualization Practice. She welcomes input from vendors, industry contacts, and end users and can be reached at joharder@virtualizationpractice.com.
Jo Harder

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