10 Virtualization Predictions for 2009


Dr. Stephen Herrod, chief technology officer with virtualization firm VMware, offers 10 insights into what's in store for virtualization in the coming year.

Yes, it's safe to be skeptical when you hear a vendor executive opining about issues around their core products, and this is no exception. But Herrod has some good points.

His people sent me a pretty detailed list, but here's a condensed version (but still in his words):

1. Desktop "New virtualization-based approaches will be able to deliver rich, personalized virtual desktops to any device (whether thick or thin), while simplifying management and securing endpoints with virtual desktops hosted in the datacenter."

2. Storage "Look for solutions that offer native array support for common storage operations on virtual machines such as replication and migration; thin provisioning and de-duplication capabilities to optimize storage usage - which is particularly important for the desktop use case; and virtual machine-based storage (virtual storage arrays) solutions."

3. High-end apps "New chip advances - for example, Intel Extended Page Tables (EPT) and AMD Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI) - are particularly good news for memory-intensive applications and high-performance computing. Combined with the ability to purchase more applications as pre-packaged virtual machines, and improvements in the licensing and support policies offered by Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), virtualization will quickly move into the mainstream."

4. Data centers "Global companies will increasingly use their virtualization platform to federate compute capacity dynamically across multiple datacenters. British Telecom (BT), for example, is building the next-generation, cloud computing-ready infrastructure."

5. Networking "Networking vendors are optimizing for virtualization network traffic making remote display protocols more effective and allowing networking management tools to monitor and manage at the virtual machine -level."

6. Smartphones "Ultra-thin hypervisors - a thin layer of software embedded on a mobile phone that decouples the applications and data from the underlying hardware, optimized to run efficiently on low-power-consuming and memory-constrained mobile phones - will both enable handset vendors to accelerate time to market as well as pave the way for innovative applications and services for phone users."

7. Security "McAfee, Symantec, and Trend Micro demoed new virtualization-focused security solutions at VMworld 2008 in September, leading a growing trend in the security world. Traditional firewall, Intrusion Detection System (IDS), and virus detection offerings are now shipping as virtual machines."

8. Management tools Going forward, additional APIs and integration technologies (e.g., user interface plug-in architectures) will enable end-to-end management processes spanning heterogeneous datacenter environments, a wide variety of application stacks, and physical and virtual use cases.

9. Green data centers "'Upward-spiraling infrastructure demands and increasing energy costs mean that the energy proportion of IT costs could double by 2012,'" said a recent Gartner research report ("U.S. Data Centers: The Calm Before the Storm," 25 September 2007). Server consolidation, through virtualization, is one of the best ways to reduce power usage, as well as greenhouse gas emissions."

10. Cloud computing "Standards are key to the success of public clouds - standards that allow compatibility at the virtual machine layer for easier entry and exit from the cloud, and standards that enable applications to be migrated in and out of public clouds without modification. In 2009, these advances will accelerate to enable companies both large and small to safely tap compute capacity inside and outside their firewalls - how they want, when they want, and as much as they want - to ensure quality of service for any application."

What do you think?