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Toigo: The impact of server virtualization on data centers

"Hypervisors have become part of our vocabulary. Virtualization with a hypervisor replacing the operating system, and incorporating the operating system with the apps is the way preferred by one vendor, VMware," said Jon Toigo during his recent Storage Decisions presentation. "Or you got Microsoft, which is in the business of creating host operating systems. They say, let's take the hypervisor on top of the host operating system, and take the applications and some of the operating system components and put them into their own little containers -- that's Hyper-V."

He said that Linux users found they had less use for virtualization initially because they found they had better utilization of hardware when compared to other commercially available operating systems.

"The Linux guys were scratching their heads," said Toigo, because Linux users were able to get better utilization of hardware than from commercial products because Linux was easier to modify. "[You] can't do that with most commercial operating systems out there. They shield their internals from [users]." Free products for virtualization on Linux systems are now available.

But Toigo -- who is chairman and co-founder of the Data Management Institute, as well as CEO and managing principal of Toigo Partners International -- noted that the impact of server virtualization is such that these techniques have been available for mainframes for many years, particularly after the development of logical partitioning.

"Now I can stand up multiple workloads inside a logical partition in a mainframe, and if one of them crashes the rest of them keep running. Can't do that in a virtual machine world on x86 Tinker Toys," said Toigo. "If you're really serious, and you really want to go whole-hog into this resilient infrastructure that virtualizes everything, do it on a mainframe."

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