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Will the Hypervisor Replace Operating Systems

Redmondmag.com columnist Brien Posey always has an interesting take, especially with his recent article that focused on the future of the hypervisor, particularly market leading VMware.

Big changes have been happening in data centers. More and more servers are split into a bunch of VMs, and server operating systems are becoming more dedicated with smaller footprints. We've long had Linux appliances. Now Windows Server is increasing focus on Server Roles.

This is the perfect context for hypervisors (which assume the duties of an OS). You see, these slices of server computing are narrowly focused, so they need less OS support.

VMware is the company Posey sees moving in this direction (wouldn't it love to intrude on Microsoft's OS turf?). VMware is already looking to handle storage and to virtual networks -- key pieces that OS's generally touch. And Posey got a sneak peak at some cool stuff in VMware labs that seem to back up his prognostications, especially in the area of configuration.

When you look at things like Linux appliances, a lightweight OS doesn't actually have to do all that much. It's easy to assume that VMware may not be that far away.

One of the questions Posey didn't address is could VMware support Windows servers apps? Would this let IT run these apps without paying the Microsoft server license tax, and would Redmond let it?

What is your expert analysis? Send it forth to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 09/12/2012 at 1:19 PM


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