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Doing More With Less

Once again, the action in the server world this week is pretty much at LinuxWorld, and although your faithful correspondent isn't there this time, I am intrigued -- if not surprised -- that the main buzz from the show revolves around virtualization.
That's because the technology fulfills the First Commandment of the budget-conscious CIO: Do more with less. Now, every trade show has some sort of hype topic, but the reality of budget savings elevates this particular one above mere trade-show froth.

Server makers and chip manufacturers know that saving a buck or two -- OK, a few thousand here and there -- will always be a keen interest in IT shops, so they're really running with that adage this week. AMD isn't even waiting for its full-blown virtualization technology to roll out; it's prepared a virtualization simulator for AMD platforms that'll prep developers for its upcoming Pacifica virtualization platform; server admins will see the benefits of that much more quickly as a result. And a veritable slew of companies were in San Francisco this week trying to persuade you and the overall market that their approach to virtualization is the right one to follow. Given the mix of established and new vendors attacking this sector with their expertise, the overall approach to a virtualized data center is sure to benefit.

It's not just virtualization that promises to let IT managers and server administrators get more use from their systems, however far-flung those are. IBM is pushing grid computing again with a system bundle that is meant to ease the crossover into using a grid setup to wring every processor cycle from your machines. And Hewlett-Packard is similarly touting grid setups for its storage lineups. These companies are all working for their own sake, of course, trying to increase their attractiveness and profitability. But in doing so, they're also working for your sake too -- and whatever the primary motivation, making your life easier in the IT center is what really counts.