Sunday, June 17, 2007


People are very excited about the benefits of virtualization. I don't disagree with them; there's some interesting ideas there.

Virtual workstations, for things like testing and QA of software on different environments is very useful, and something that existing virtualization tools do pretty well.

Virtual server environments, while successful, seem to be a bit of a leaking abstraction. If I have an application in ASP.NET that I want to deploy on a virtual host, do I really care if my Virtual Windows has Internet Explorer and DirectX? I wouldn't think so -- not unless my application relies on the presence of either.

So I'm interested in seeing the operating system for virtualization get pared down. This would probably start by paring down existing operating systems, but could eventually result in an operating system that sees no use other than as a thin layer between virtualization technology and an application development/deployment stack.

For those of us building in Java, a virtual os that binds the virtulization technology to a JVM and offers those relevant services to the JVM might also result in improved performance for virtual servers that are hosting Java applications.


Anonymous said...

You've pretty much described one of the hottest areas of interest in the it mgmt world right now: application virtualization

Geoffrey Wiseman said...

Interesting; I hadn't seen that trend yet -- I'll have to look into it in more detail. Thanks for the pointer.