Back in my systems administration consulting days, I would explain to potential clients that good sysadmins were always looking for ways to do more with less: manage more machines or services with fewer people, squeezing more servers into a rack, getting more data on a storage array, etc.
Virtualization is just some seriously cool technology, that is an enabler for the whole idea of doing more with less, but with a lot of extra benefits above and beyond that.
It’s easy to see how virtualization can allow you to run multiple servers off the same piece of hardware – that’s obvious. What’s better is that it allows you to take what would have been separate resources scattered and “silo’ed” across your data center (CPU power, cache, network, storage, etc.) and group them together in pools that can be shared on an as-needed, on-demand basis. The multipliers in efficiency and flexibility alone are amazing. When you throw in the long-term cost savings, increased capabilities, improved availability, and not just disaster recovery but what I’ll call “disaster resistance”, you start to see just how amazing virtualization really is.
Having been through the Internet and Dot Com booms, I’m very hesitant to use the “p-word” since I think it got severely over-used then, but I have to admit, I do truly believe that virtualization (and the Clouds that it enables) are, in fact, creating an entirely new paradigm for how we will consume both information and computing power.
I can’t even begin to put into words just how exciting it is to be in a position where I get to be around and even directly involved in the cutting edges of this new frontier of technology.