I’m not much of a Technical Guru when it comes to Virtualization and the technology behind it but the fundamentals are there, that said you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to have a strong feeling that Virtualization hasn’t met a fraction of its full potential yet. When you look at how young the technology still is and the progress it has made in such a short period of time it makes you wonder, How far are we going to move with this?
So where is the Ceiling for virtualization? Where is that point when you realize the technology (Within IT) has reached its limit?
As great as virtualization is the obvious fact will always remain that physical hardware will always be a requirement at some level or another I think that the goal in the development of Virtualization is how far that level can be pushed. This is why when you look at the development path of Virtualization you don’t really look at what functionality it could do in the future but more on what Hardware need it can replace in the future.
I would like to think that in the very near future we could see entire networks running in the cloud with only requirement being Thin Clients and the obvious such as Printers etc.
BUT is this is a fairly realistic thought? Having an entire office environment virtualized, it’s quite easy for us to see how great this could be but at second glance you start to see some underlying critical problems you would face. When we talk about Business Continuity, Fault Tolerance and High Availability we are talking about a business’s ability to maintain communication with its data. Well here comes the major flaw of a totally virtualized office, when you look at a physical environment, when things go wrong users are normally able to continue work on another pieces of work while the problem is fixed or if not, the fix is normally something in your control. Virtualizing everything takes that control away from you and trusting in external forces with your business continuity, that’s a lot of trust, I don’t think I trust my own family that much let alone a company I don’t really know that well.
If your connection went down so would your business continuity, if business essential data is not readily available in an event such as this you’re putting a lot at risk. But this doesn’t mean don’t go down the route of Virtualization, this means you need to balance the physical and the virtual, they work hand in hand. The StorMagic SvSAN is a perfect example of this, leveraging un-utilized servers to create a virtual Storage device which is shareable across a network, also enabling the features of VMware such as vMotion, High Availaility and DRS.
I guess the answer to the initial question is that Virtualization is not on its own private development path but is developing in line with physical technology. Hand in Hand.