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Editor’s Note: Go Virtual

Virtualization can change the way you look at IT projects now and in the future.

Lafe Low

Virtualization is one technology that, by and large, lives up to its hype and promise. You can save money, simplify management, consolidate physical systems and secure virtual desktops with virtualization technology. Whether you’re virtualizing servers, desktops, applications or some combination thereof, virtualization is rapidly becoming a fully accepted—if not expected—arrow in the quiver of the contemporary IT manager.

It’s neither a magic bullet nor without its challenges, though. Virtualization can convey many benefits, but you still have to do your homework and plan for virtualization, as Brian Marranzini points out in his feature, “Prepare to Virtualize.” If you plan carefully, assess your environment and organize your licensing arrangements, you’ll help your virtualization deployment proceed smoothly.

You may choose to venture in carefully, beginning as many do with server consolidation. You can virtualize your servers and get a sense of the cost savings in terms of consolidating physical servers and saving on equipment, power consumption and management costs. That’s a good test bed for virtualization in most organizations. Then you can follow up those efforts with desktop and application virtualization.

One of the earlier uses for virtualization of which I was first aware—and that I’ve always felt was particularly clever—is a public kiosk located in a mall running a virtual instance of an OS with a survey application. After a day of the general public pounding on this keyboard, the IT guys in charge of this kiosk would simply wipe it clean and start the next day with a fresh, clean instance of this virtual survey and OS. Perfect: no bugs, no viruses, clean as a whistle.

If you haven’t yet, you’d be wise to consider the power of virtualization to save on IT budget dollars, consolidate physical systems and ease thorny management issues.

Have You Virtualized?

Have you deployed virtual servers in order to consolidate physical servers? Have you rolled out a virtual desktop infrastructure? Have you virtualized applications? Still doing your homework and making plans to cash in on the technical, management and cost-savings promises of virtualization? Let us know, and while you’re at it, tell us what you think of what you read on the TechNet Magazine site. Are we covering the technologies you’re using? Is TechNet Magazine helping you get your job done faster and more efficiently? Help us help you. We want to know how we’re doing so we can do it better.

Send us your feedback. Sign up for our LinkedIn group, send us an e-mail at tnmag@microsoft.com or e-mail me directly at the address below.

Lafe Low
Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s Redmond magazine. Contact him at  llow@1105med.