To the Cloud! Just add more dynamos. Virtualize it. We use SaaS. They use IaaS. Virtual Disk, Streaming Applications, Self provisioning. User provisioning! Virtual Desktops. Virtual Platform...
The list of virtualization types and how everyone is doing it goes on and on. Not to mention the crazy acronyms that have been created because of virtualization. But even with all of the words, hype and reporting on virtualization, few know what it is, fewer can explain it and most can not figure out how to use it well. This post marks the kick off of a series of articles discussing virtualization and all its glory. Here today I aim to provide a very high level, and non-technical, overview of just what virtualization is with a few examples of how you probably use virtualization today.
Virtualization is a way to separate technologies from one another.
My definition may be overly simplistic for a technology that is quite advanced but the reason I define it as such is because that is what it truly does. When working with virtualization if you think of it as a way to separate technologies from one another it becomes much easier to discuss and work with.
Separation is virtualization! I mentioned in the opening that you already use virtualization, and you may not even know it. Here are some simple everyday examples of virtualization:
- Picture in Picture on your TV. What is it separating? Your cable/antenna signal from the screen; you are no longer limited to the old rule of one channel being watched on one TV.
- Computer backups at work. Separation? Your computer from the hundreds, if not thousands, of hard drives where the data is stored.
- Most kiosks at the library, mall, stores and major theme parks. The separation here is the display screen from a PC. Take a look inside the container and you might notice that something is missing - a computer!
- The Internet. Separating you from billions of people since Al Gore invented it.
One by one the buzzwords from above will start to show for what they really are: a type of virtualization.
Now that we have all learned to wave our arms at virtualization we can get ready to crawl while I discuss the different types of virtualization in more detail in my next article.
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Written by Eric Wamsley
Posted: January 3rd, 2012 10:43pm