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Virtual Hope

It pains me a little to have to admit this, but here goes: There may be hope after all for virtualization. I've burned up plenty of pixels questioning the timing of vendors' relentless virtualization push. While not as radical (or intangible) as information lifecycle management (ILM), virtualization nonetheless will mean major changes for storage managers.

Virtualization is a complicated technology that IT professionals (or the people who sign off on the purchase) haven't fully grasped yet, and it's technology that's going to require more education and handholding than most things IT buys.

But first things first, and in storage, the first thing often starts with the server. It's long been my opinion that the fortunes of storage virtualization will track those of server virtualization (with storage lagging 12-18 months behind virtual server and blade uptake). Think my virtual logic is in disarray? Hit me back and tell me why.

So why am I going all gooey on virtualization? It's not just because HP made a big commitment to the technology in the latest refresh of its server lines. There's also new open-source virtual machine technology on the horizon, and it's got some folks pretty excited and taking a fresh look at how virtualization might fit into their data center resources.

Yeah, I know readers think the trade press expends too much energy trying to evangelize open source. I honestly don't care how virtualization comes out of the box. My hope is that the more options out there, the more customers will take time to explore and kick some virtual tires. Maybe there's value there. If not, I can get back to being a virtual crank.

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