How soon before we get to the point where we have virtualization for everyone?
Virtualization is definitely headed toward ubiquity. At VMworld [in September] we announced our embedded hypervisor, the ESX3i, and many of the major x86-based hardware vendors announced they will ship servers with an embedded ESX server in them. Anything that's virtualized has more flexibility, better utilization, and stronger reliability and security properties. I'd say there's still some hardware-assist work to be done. We estimate that about 90 percent of applications today belong in virtual machines. Once the final hardware assist is there from the processor and peripheral vendors, all applications will run in virtual machines. What it gives you is this single way to manage your software and manage it completely separately from your hardware.
There's some industry talk about the eventual emergence of a complete virtualization system. What's your vision for that?
Once you have a comprehensive virtual infrastructure in place where you buy servers already virtualization-enabled, where you're running a VMware infrastructure, then you can have hot-pluggable machines. So if you're running out of capacity you can add servers and through VMware-or some virtual infrastructure-the system will automatically detect that you just added new resources and bring them all online and make them available for applications. With things like our VMotion technology you can automatically move running applications around. Or if you want to take something out of the system to service it, the systems will automatically move the applications off with no interruptions because you have a fully distributed system infrastructure running. A virtual infrastructure really takes all your hardware, server storage and network resources and pulls it all together so you can run it as a single system.
Well in two year, I'd say.