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2008: VMware will feel the heat from the competition

Interesting year 2008 is going to be! This article says:

These moves, observers say, expose a strategy against VMware to commoditize hypervisor technology and then win the hearts of corporate users by providing choices for management and other tools to administer what experts say is a coming explosion in virtualization on corporate networks.

VMware, which disputes any notion that hypervisor will become a commodity, has been the undisputed leader in virtualization since shipping its first product six years ago. No one is questioning the depth of its hypervisor, which eschews the stripped-down route and builds in proprietary management technology, nor are experts claiming VMware's dominance is in dispute in the near term.

The eventual winner has to:

  • Move to I/O virtualization: Lots of performance driven virtualization, because this is still not being addressed by the hypervisors. Client community is not ready to put their mission critical business technologies on the hypervisor. That is where the real cash/opportunity is. Virtualizing little machines into the production is still romancing with the hypervisor. Serious commitment will come when clients and vendors, open source or proprietary will get into a serious engagement and start deploying mission critical applications in their VE (Virtual Environments).
  • Security: Vendors must start baking security as "default"in their solutions. This will be the beginning of the convergence trend where network, server, storage will be used (and confused in the beginning) interchangeably, I personally would call it "Business Bulk". With security I just don't mean hypervisor security but also "Cross- VM domain" security where the VM's are policed through parent-child relationships. This has to be addressed with optimal layerization of orchestration with security baked in!
  • HPCC (High Performance Computing Cloud) : When I/O issues are addressed, and trust me that it will need a lot of time before we are out there, virtualization vendors have to move on to HPC. There is one very crucial thing that the industry has to pay solid attention to. The computing community playing field has been leveled and has to find its place on a "logical computing cloud" that has nothing to do with the background and the infrastructure architecture. The client community will continuously ask for "Co-creator aware environment" (A term I will borrow which the Sun CTO used when we chatted a few days back). Distributed computing and SBC (Server based computing) have to merge, but they cannot replace each others roles, we need to find that place in the middle, the "HybridSpace". This is a challenge that will have to be faced as we (aggressively) move towards converging and optimizing the "Real World Web", which according to Gartner will only gain more traction. The Cloud computing may not be interesting now but as bandwidths start breaking the 100Gbps barriers, then we are talking totally different worlds.
  • (VIMM) Virtual Infrastructure Maturity Model Readiness: Organizations have to move from a "basic VIMM" ( through the transitions of Tactical-> Strategic) to a "Live Transformational VE (Virtual Enterprize)" or call it "Rapid Change Ready" models. This encapsulates both business domains and IT domains and a strong collaboration and overlap between the two ensures a healthy interdependence. These worlds are still divided but are increasing approaching each other at faster speeds. So to make this "embrace" less collisive we must have a framework where are all sub-components of these two domains are "business-agile". These components would be organizational, governance, function, management, desktop, storage, network, server, management, desktop, information. I will be talking about it in the upcoming conference in Belgium and will try to talk about the VIMM a bit in detail.
So the field is about to get complex, VMware has a hypervisor lead today and that will definitely be challenged but should VMware or any other vendor take the game to a totally new level, then we are talking about the "Shift 2.0". Hypervisor is going to get commoditized, thats for sure.

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