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Wall Street Virtually Guarded

NEW YORK -- Wall Street IT managers and CIOs discussed the challenges posed by virtualization and the next generation of multi-core processors at an event here today.

Keynote speaker Killian Murphy, director of R&D for Credit Suisse, explained that server virtualization is still in its early days. "It's a great way to drive up utilization of compute capacity," he said, though he wouldn't specify which vendors he works with.

Murphy also said there are some scalability issues he would like to see resolved. "As you put more virtual machines on these [physical] machines you need more memory -- you can share the CPU between a bunch of applications, but you can't share the [machine] memory," he said, urging chip and systems vendors to take care of this issue.

The exec also highlighted the need for improved hypervisor technology, which lets multiple operating systems run on a single piece of hardware. "We need as high performance an infrastructure as we can get," he explained, adding that he expects a big "leap forward" in hypervisor performance sometime soon.

Xen and VMware are the main players in this space, although a number of other vendors, such as IBM, have also focused their attention on hypervisors during recent months. (See Virtually Secure, XenSource Reveals Upgrade, and LeCroy Unveils Analyzer.)

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