2. Application support
Stories by Kevin Fogarty
Rivals Citrix and VMware have taken their battle beyond technology development, even beyond marketing. Now they're working on the imaginations and psychology of potential customers and, to a certain extent, rewriting history.
If certain server and virtualisation vendors get their way, end-user companies will be buying many fewer individual servers in a few years, and many more integrated packages of infrastructure.
In the wake of an analyst report certifying Citrix's XenDesktop 4.1 as the only product that fully satisfies all the criteria for enterprise-class desktop virtualization, Citrix Systems has come very close to conceding it will remain an also-ran in the market for virtual servers.
There's no question that cloud-computing infrastructures will become a significant part the IT plans of large corporations, according to analysts. The question, at least right now, is how well those hybrid internal/external infrastructures will be managed.
EMC took square aim at the "big four" data center management software players-HP, IBM, CA and BMC- this week when it launched Ionix. The new Ionix business unit and brand name are designed to make more noise about what analysts call an under-appreciated set of broad capabilities in data-center management tools.
Cisco Systems stirred up a hornet's nest among server vendors with the announcement that it was explicitly getting into the blade-based server market.
As one of a phalanx of executives, engineers, partners and customers gathered for <a href="http://cio.com/article/448238/subject/Microsoft+Corporation">Microsoft</a>'s blowout virtualization launch Tuesday in Seattle, <a href="http://cio.com/article/448238/subject/Kevin+Turner">Kevin Turner</a>, chief operating officer for <a href="http://www.cio.com/article/448673/subject/Microsoft+Corporation">Microsoft</a>, talked with CIO.com writer <a href="http://www.cio.com/article/448673/subject/Kevin+Fogarty">Kevin Fogarty</a> about what he and other top managers perceive to be the primary needs of its CIO customers. Leading topics include the ability to save money, help formulate and drive business strategy, and outsource non-strategic applications in order to focus on IT work that creates a real competitive advantage.
One of the best things about virtual infrastructures is their ability to minimize the inevitable differences among the servers in a typical server farm. Rather than having to buy X number of servers every quarter with identical configurations, component and firmware versions, virtualization allows data-center managers a little more freedom and a little more confidence that almost-identical hardware will perform almost identically.
Along with the other updates Virtual Iron, Inc. plans to ship at the end of this month is a feature designed to conserve electricity by moving virtual machines onto a small part of a server farm and power down the rest.
Tripwire and VMware have teamed up to produce a free tool that VMware customers can use to automatically audit the security configuration of physical and virtual servers.
It seems about time - after a week that included the release of yet another beta of Microsoft's Hyper-V, Citrix' release of sometimes-free desktop virtualisation, a raft of VMware announcements about desktop virtualisation and announcements from too many other companies to mention -to announce the winner in the David/Goliath pissing match that is the fight for dominance in the virtualisation market.