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How would you define virtualisation?

How would you define virtualisation? In an article published today, Clive Longbottom, Quocirca Ltd (UK), attempts to clear the decks with a virtual tour!

The concept of Grid computing is predicted on the idea of virtualisation, yet this article highlights that the term often means completely different things to different people.

So just what kind of virtualisation are we talking about?

For a start it could be:
- network virtualisation
- hardware virtualisation
- operating system virtualisation
- application or service virtualisation

Or is it storage virtualisation? Or perhaps even database virtualisation?

While most techies understand that virtualisation is a multi-facted term, there still seems to be some confusion over the two high level aspects of virtualisation - federation and partitioning.

So just how do we clear the hurdles? Longbottom suggests the following:

For Grid computing to become a mainstream concept, a common vocabulary is needed and everyone involved needs to see just how each piece fits into the bigger picture ensuring the desired end result.

For commercial usage of Grids to become the rule rather than the exception, there needs to be a move is towards supporting a more varied set of workloads within a Grid infrastructure.

A look at Grid computing in the corporate world highlights the need for:

a highly virtualised environment where services are provisioned at will, where resources required for each service can be created dynamically, where new hardware can be installed without the need for downtime and with virtualisation providing built-in business continuity.

The article is entitled 'Grid Computing Now! - Grid: Virtualisation' and provides a high-level overview of virtualisation.

It makes interesting reading and can be read .
Download full PDF article

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