Virtualization and computing have been together since the early 1960s, but only in recent years has the virtualization concept really taken off.
Now, virtualization is, well, virtually everywhere in products and the enterprise. Its certainly on the minds of senior IT executives.
"I cannot have a conversation with someone today without the topic of virtualization coming up," Chris Burry, technology infrastructure practice director at Avanade, told eWEEK Senior Editor Peter Galli in our coverage this week.
The reason for its current "in" status is that virtualization helps solve so many of the problems facing technology managers today, especially around the costs of hardware, power and cooling. In addition, data centers can run more efficiently when users are able to relieve the hardware infrastructure from doing all the work, allocating resources as needed rather than dedicating a server to them.
Not surprisingly, open-source virtualization is gaining particular interest, with Novell and Red Hat planning "baked-in" virtualization in future Linux products based on the Xen hypervisor.
This level of integration, however, and the rush to create a pervasive virtual ecosystem, could cause problems due to Xens current level, or lack, of maturity, Galli reports.
For those who need a robust system now, eWEEK Labs Senior Analyst Jason Brooks on Page 41 gives SWsofts Virtuozzo for Linux 3.0 an Analysts Choice nod for its "very slick" and granular management utilities.
While innovation is driving much of the development surrounding virtualization, the sixth annual eWEEK Excellence Awards celebrate innovations of all kinds.
Labs analysts and the eWEEK Corporate Partner Advisory Board have been working diligently in recent weeks to narrow products from about 800 entrants down to 57 finalists, which are listed on Page 31.
"As a group," said Technology Editor Peter Coffee, "[the products] demonstrate that every tier of the IT stack is subject to continued improvement." Look for winners to be announced in May and a special report that examines each winning product in June.
Scot Petersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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