Portability – What’s Really Exciting about Virtualization

Remember when the exciting thing about virtualization of computing was all about cost savings – via consolidation of servers, applications and bandwidths into on-demand virtual equivalents? Well, now, the real exciting stuff is all about portability – made possible by the cloud.

That’s the view of Collean Healy, general manager of financial services for Microsoft, who spoke at TradeTech in New York in late February.

Think about it…virtualization has been around for a few decades, where operating systems and applications are separated from the devices that use them. But now, that separation happens on banks of blade servers. Master images of OSs and apps are kept there and then copies are made when individual users or project managers need them. So, you wind up with portability of OSs and apps “regardless of where you are,” said Healy, as reported in an article that I read. She added: this produces “a lot of productivity and innovation,” as well as access to information anywhere 24/7 from any device.

And this is where the cloud figures in, for instance, companies that use the cloud to handle peak or overload risk evaluation work. And with the enormous resources of cloud out there, from the likes of Amazon and Google, utilizing the cloud to use and manage excess capacity is cheap.

Yet you should be choosy about what kind of work you try to put into virtual capacity because it’s not road-tested as much as a company’s own data centers and networks. But if you do decide to take advantage of cloud resources, it’s comforting to know that there are services such as data and network monitoring, all done from the cloud, which will alert you to potential security breaches or failures.