Virtue Leads to Excellence
Opinion: VMware's award win highlights the growing role of virtual machines in application development and IT site management.Simulations are notorious for what they leave out, at least as much as theyre valued for what they include. Knowing what can be safely omitted is perhaps the critical difference that marks a real guru in the field: one whos capable of turning out work that leads to unexpected insight, rather than merely (or even falsely) confirming expectations. If theres one thing, though, that a computer can simulate both completely and correctly, it ought to be another computer—or better yet, a collection of safely separate operating system environments running under the stern eye of a supervisory software layer. Thats the stock in trade at VMware Inc., a winner in this years eWEEK Excellence Awards and a key technology provider to individual developers as well as to enterprise data centers.
I heard from numerous VMware users when I wrote two years ago about virtual-machine employment in software development. People running multiple deployment environments, side-by-side, for concurrent testing or network emulation were the dominant group. I personally use the Connectix "Virtual PC" technology, now owned by Microsoft, for useful tricks like plugging in a USB device that only has Windows drivers to use it from a Windows session on my Macintosh PowerBook—then dragging the resulting work files from the Windows desktop window to the native desktop of the Mac.