Virtualization Predictions Forrester Forgot

Virtualization is to the end of the first decade in 2000, what the Apple Macintosh did for computers in the 1980's. If you ever wondered if you would see an upheaval in how we view computing, look around because we are right in the middle of it. Virtualization has irreversibly changed our industry for the better already.

Based on a survey Forrester predicates that two thirds of IT organizations will be using virtualization by 2009. Another interesting stat from Network World's coverage of the Forrester study;

IT departments already using virtualization have virtualized 24% of servers, and that number is expected to grow to 45% by 2009.

Based on my experience, I think the Forrester 2009 prediction is too low. If nearly half the servers of organizations in the survey will be virtualized, I've got to believe that at least three quarters of SME and enterprise companies will be utilizing virtualization by 2009. But let's not stop there. Here some other changes and implications virtualization has for our industry.

Every software vendor must have a virtualization strategy

If you are a software vendor and you don't yet have a virtualization strategy, it's high time to get started. All IT software is candidate to be virtualized and vendors need to have their virtualization act together. At the current rapid adoption rates, now is the time to make a clear plan about your products can best be leveraged in virtualized environments.

Virtual Appliance Downloads Will Be Commonplace

Just as software distribution on CD-ROMs has given way to DVD distributions, virtual appliances will become a commonplace format for downloading and installing software. Why install Microsoft Windows Server 2008 from scratch every time. Think of the convenience of downloading or installing a virtual image directly, rather than waiting for long install times.

Virtualization's Real Test: High Performance, Mission Critical Applications

To be more than a server consolidation technology, virtualization must cross the barrier and run high volume, mission critical production systems. We'll know virtualization has truly arrived in full force when payment processing systems, content streaming, claims processing and other business critical systems are running as virtualized applications.

What virtualization needs: Security and Management

The biggest potential wet blanket of the virtualization party is a lack of management tools and the ability to manage security of virtual instances (both running and nascent). If managing virtualized environments becomes too unwieldy or introduces an unmanageable security mess, virtualization deployments could slow to a grinding halt. Software to solve these problems represents some of the greatest opportunities for third party software makers.

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