Virtualizations Time to Roll

In the fledgling history of virtualization,this summer may go downas a watershed.

On the upside, two major eventsamong leading vendors lent even morelegitimacy to virtualization. First camethe long-awaited initial public offeringof market leader VMware on August14. The next day, Citrix said it wouldacquire XenSource, an open source virtualizationvendor.

The only downside: Microsoft, inthe same month, said it would pushback its Windows Server 2008 introductionto next February, delaying therelease of new server virtualizationsoftware.

Regardless of the setback, virtualizationis ready for its close-up. Deployments of server virtualizationsoftware?which allow companies torun multiple operating systems on asingle, virtual machine?have grownin recent years. Forrester says 51% ofNorth American businesses were eitherusing or piloting virtualization softwarelast year, up almost 10 percentagepoints from 2005.

Virtualizing other pieces of the ITpuzzle, like applications, desktops andeven hardware, are also on the rise."Virtualization has the potential totouch every aspect of infrastructure,"says Raghu Raghuram, vice presidentof products and solutions for VMware."It’s pretty limitless."

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