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Users Draw Up Virtual Wishlists

The holidays and virtualization go together like, well, cranberries and RAID arrays, perhaps. Still somehow, the season calls out for punishing analogies, especially as users check in with their wishlists for server virtualization products -- functions and capabilities that for now they can only dream about (or undertake as expensive, cumbersome work-arounds, which would defeat the purpose).

In this instance, the wishes are almost completely confined to VMware and its ESX virtualization software that creates virtual machines to wring new efficiencies from existing servers.

Storage and IT professionals talk about server virtualization almost like magic beans for the data center. It reduces the enterprise's equipment footprint, and in tandem, cuts electricity and cooling costs, not to mention administrative overhead.

So where might virtualization and other software vendors still fill in some blanks? Generally their concerns fall into three areas: better management, improved support for external storage, and richer disaster recovery capabilities.

The Federated View
Credit report giant Fair Isaac Corp. in Minneapolis has been using VMware software for more than three years. That's given Gary Tierney, senior manager of technology and solutions delivery, plenty of time to bang on ESX and see where it works well in his organization -- and where it could be improved.

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