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Virtual I/O's Time Has Come

Server and PC virtualization aren't exactly old hat, but they are established markets -- and established technologies that are proven to work.

A lesser-known area that's ripe for take-off, I believe, is I/O virtualization, where connections to networks and storage lose their physical constraints and gain the flexibility of virtual connectivity. Setting up a new server, for instance, doesn't have to involve the manual installation and configuration of NICs, HBAs and all the rest.

One company I came across in this space is Xsigo Systems. Unlike earlier forms of I/O virtualization where a regular I/O device is shared by multiple apps, systems or VMs, Xsigo does away with the adapters all together. In their place is a new device that acts like the physical devices, but can be dynamically assigned and allocated. Pretty slick.

Tom Valovic, executive editor of Virtualization Review (that's our new magazine/Web site which can be found at VirtualizationReview.com), found another player, 3 Leaf Systems, that also virtualizes I/O. From what I can tell, the 3 Leaf V-8000 Virtual I/O Server is very similar in concept.

How much have you virtualized? Servers, desktops, apps, storage? Tell me your story by writing dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on May 05, 2008 at 11:52 AM


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