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Cisco's Chambers Describes Virtual 'Revolution'

SAN FRANCISCO -- VMworld -- Virtualization is about to revolutionize the way we live and work, says Cisco CEO John Chambers, warning that this will mirror the rapid rise of the Internet. (See Chambers Touts 'Network of Networks'.)

Speaking during a keynote here today, the ever-glib Chambers urged IT managers to stay up to speed with virtualization, drawing parallels with the explosion in Internet technologies prior to Y2K. (See VMworld to Showcase Storage News and Virtualization Is Key to Disaster Recovery, Says VMware's Greene.)

"In the next five to 10 years, we will see a replay of what happened in the '90s," he predicted. "This will usher in a new generation of productivity, changing how we work, where we work, and the nature of work itself."

Cisco already uses virtualization extensively on its own network, according to Chambers. He claims Cisco has boosted its server and storage utilization from less than 20 percent to between 40 and 60 percent, which helped save $200 million over a two-year period. "We [were able to delay] having to build a new data center for four years," he explained.

Virtualization is also opening the door to a slew of new collaboration technologies at the networking giant. "This capability allows me to change not just servers and storage, but virtualization of my resources on a global basis," said Chambers, explaining that Cisco now has thousands of ideas coming regularly from its global workforce, thanks to internal wikis supported by the streamlined nets.

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