In this short analysis, we take a snapshot of a handful of key American technology leaders and what they stand to gain from virtualization. We believe that this trend is becoming a building block for dynamic infrastructure deployments for the enterprise and wanted to check in with some of our favorite technology brands to see what they are doing to grow the space.
Instead of looking at the virtualization software vendors themselves, we'll look at what drives the current virtualization momentum of companies like Intel, Cisco, and IBM that are already entrenched in the data center .
Investors in VMware
Several companies have vested interest in the outcome of virtualization through their direct investment in VMware and involvement with the VMware board of directors. We'll cover them first.
Intel seems to be gaining a lot on all sides of the virtualization trend. The Intel architecture is being relied on by Macs that run Windows and Windows hosts that run Hyper-V. It's also dominant in the virtualization options being deployed en mass including VMware, XENServer and KVM, which is shipped with many Linux distributions today. The processor is finally free to flex its muscle, and it is clear that its fluent in many languages and customs. Intel is investing in core technology to increase the ability for virtualization to be deployed in high reliability settings.
Cisco Systems is positioned as a dominant networking provider in the core of many data centers and in telcos around the world. Optimizing networks and network management around deployment of virtual hosts is a clear benefit to Cisco.
Cisco may be in a position to drive even more power into the network with the ability to further streamline the connections between data, processing, applications and network. In a world where a company can spin up new hosts at a whim, it is clear that network management and configuration is key to success. Cisco maintains a virtualization blog to share its progress in bringing this technology to networks.
EMC is clearly tied to the history of server virtualization with the purchase and subsequent spinout of VMware. Optimizing the data storage fabric to be ready to acknowledge and server virtualized data centers is critical for the management and concurrency of data across systems. Promoting virtualization is intrinsically tied to data resources and an ability to connect the two together seamlessly.
set of products designed to help organizations manage and configure their virtual environments. Cisco, EMC and VMware have put together an enterprise cloud destination that shares information on the momentum of virtualization and cloud infrastructure, called PrivateCloud.
Industry Leaders Who Benefit From Virtualization
IBM with its massive investments in application servers, blade computing, open systems and Linux seems to be an obvious choice to benefit from this trend. IBM seems serious about helping enterprises focus their efforts on efficient and cost-effective data centers, and is positioned to benefit from its position in key technology trends that ride along side this movement. IBM shares information and white papers on their capabilities to lead the enterprise charge towards virtualization.
HP is benefiting from its dominant position in delivering hosts into the enterprise and its cozy relationship with both Microsoft and increasing relationships with Linux distributions. HP has recently announced its ambition to win network business from Cisco and is in a position to deliver turnkey systems for deploying applications. HP is leveraging its Proliant line of servers as a way to offer companies VMware enabled architecture that will save time and money. This can a huge win for companies who rely on HP today and want to jump into virtualization with a partner at their side.
'Mac Hardware: Best Place to Run Windows'
Apple has been dipping its toe into the virtualziation game too by supporting VMware Fusion and Parallels in order to run both Mac OSX and Windows on Apple hardware. One of our favorite trends in computing is hearing users use the phrase, "Mac hardware: Best place to run Windows". On a sidenote, Apple is also doing some interesting work in another area of computer core optimization with its release of Grand Central Dispatch in Snow Leopard. It's designed to create high-performing systems for processing graphics and other computing functions by joining the massive power of the GPU to the CPU and optimizing the computing power of the OS based on the number of cores enabled in the hardware.
Microsoft is involved in both sides of the virtualization trend; on their site they ask, "How far will you take virtual?" One big opportunity for Microsoft has been booking more instances of Windows Server running on the same machine, whether under VMware or under Microsoft Hyper-V. More licenses sold equals more profit and happy customers. However, considering Microsoft's strategic position as the dominant layer sitting on top of the hardware, the company is also working hard with both software and server virtualization to prove that it has a strong case to be a strong contender to VMware and other solutions in the market. Virtualization is making Microsoft stronger as a competitor and rippling across Microsoft's approach to the enterprise.
In a surprisingly short time, all of these key technology leaders have embraced their offerings for a virtualized world. Through products, alliances and technology we will see even more support from them in the future.
In future posts, we'll take a look at how these companies use the technology in their own operations. Also, we'll be looking at other companies that will benefit from virtualization, including small innovators and dominant global brands such as Hitachi, Sony and Samsung.
Tell us what you think. Which companies are going to be the big winners in the virtualized computing world? Are there pieces that be overlooked by these giants?
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