We spoke to Intel about why virtualisation is so hot right now, and where it's headed as a technology.

Intel is embracing the trend to virtualise across a broad range of business facets, from security to multiple core central processing units (CPUs).

The company currently has teams working on hardware features to assist with virtualised environments, and is embracing an open approach to the technology by partnering with major independent software Vendors (ISVs) such as VMware and Microsoft, as well as open-source communities.

Peter Kerney is the senior solution architect at Intel Australia. A leading enterprise technical specialist, he is experienced in high performance computing, virtualisation, broadcast and simulation technologies. PC Advisor spoke to Kerney about his thoughts on why virtualisation is so hot right now, and where it's headed as a technology.

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PCA: Why, in your opinion, is virtualisation so hot right now?

PK: Virtualisation is one of the tools that a business can use to solve a number of the IT problems that they face. Depending on the usage model that they are applying virtualisation to, it may be used for server consolidation, disaster recovery, load balancing (better usage of resources) and many other tasks.

This can lead to savings in management, down time, energy usage and so on. This is why many/most organisations have virtualisation in their plans. In itself, virtualisation will not deliver these outcomes, rather it is a tool to help an enterprise to realise these benefits.

PCA: Where do you think input/output (I/O) and virtualisation are headed? Why?

PK: I/O virtualisation can mean different things to different people. Some consider I/O virtualisation to mean that the storage in an organisation is virtualised and the applications and user do not need to know the mapping to physical resources.

For Intel, we have technology that we refer to as Virtualisation Technology VT for Device IO. This is some hardware features that Intel is building into the chipset to allow virtual guest OS's to realise near native performance for I/O to physical storage devices. This has typically been an area where performance has been impacted in a virtualised environment.

PCA: Where do you think the industry is headed in terms of security and virtualisation?

PK: Intel is exploring a number of security usage models for virtualisation. This is one area that Intel sees as being an excellent reason to introduce virtualisation on the desktop.

By using virtualisation, an enterprise may deploy secure-hardened applications to the desktop that are more tamper resistant and therefore the enterprise IT organisation can rely on the integrity of the application environment. This is just one usage of virtualisation that provides security benefits.

NEXT PAGE: How multiple core technology in CPUs will affect the future of virtulisation and the reasons we will use the technology in the future

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