VMworld Raises Big-Picture I.T. Questions

At this week's VMworld in San Francisco, the key annual event about virtualization and the cloud put on by VMware, lots of big-picture questions have emerged for enterprise technology pros to mull over. VMworld 2013 is no niche talk-and-party circus. The questions are about genuine enterprise I.T. issues that affect how businesses invest in and profit from their tech operations.

Cloud computing and data centers are hot business topics and this week's deliberations will get interesting.

Beyond the networking, storage, and other product announcements at this year's VMworld, which started on August 25 and runs to August 29, are some compelling questions: What's the long-term fate of the data center? With more applications, more big data to sort than ever before, what is the data center going to look like and how does it address the mobile world? Where does old I.T. survive against the new breed of business road warriors? Last but not least, how will changes in server management affect the jobs of today's system administrators?

The show this year comes at a time when virtualization pioneer VMware continues to be on secure footing with a technology of considerable benefit to businesses.

Virtualization Growth

Virtualization lets one machine, typically a server, run multiple operating systems for flexibility and an easing up of hardware needs. Wikibon, a community of practitioners and consultants who share advisory knowledge, recently issued results of a survey concluding that server virtualization is not hitting a wall but instead is continuing to grow -- from 69 percent of servers virtualized today to an expected 84 percent in eighteen months.

"Generally, the overheads associated with virtualization have become minimal and are far outweighed in many workloads by other business benefits," according to Wikibon.

VMware at this week's show is making it clear that its vision for future data centers and...

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