Stewart Alsop provides a perspective on the recent wave: “Today the level of interconnectedness is even greater. As computers and networks become commodities, companies are learning they can reduce costs and make the whole jumble a lot easier to manage. Suddenly it doesn’t matter what server or storage unit you buy or where you put it. It all looks like one integrated system. That’s virtualization.”
The impact? Server consolidation, Death of Appliances, Re-emergence of ASPS and Web Services Tools.
Here is what Alsop has to say on the “death of appliances”:
A great concept that emerged during the dot-com era was the idea of a “server appliance,” a machine dedicated to one application that could just be plugged into the network without any fuss. Lots of startups focused on selling appliances to large companies, leading to the same phenomenon as above: too many devices that were too hard to keep track of and manage. Now companies prefer to serve applications from those much-larger machines, which can handle multiple programs and be managed centrally. Eventually this will allow any application to run anywhere in the network without regard to which piece of hardware it is being served from.