So I Listened to Paul Maritz keynote from VMworld 2011 yesterday. He was making some bold predictions, which of course will come back to bite him!
First, of course, the death of the PC – this has always been touted, and I could easily see that in the home environment the “PC” would disappear as everyone uses a Tablet for browsing, the TV gets an internet connection for TV, film streaming, browsing etc., and err playing games, etc. Add in a games console, and there’s little need for a real PC, unless someone in the house needs a proper app for Video editing, Spreadsheets etc.
BUT, in the business world, a PC with a decent screen and keyboard is pretty much a fixture. Of course Maritz predicts that all this will be driven by a thin computing setup – this prediction has been done to death over decades and has never delivered – but then VMware is pushing it’s “View” product…
Anyway, the other death knell that Maritz was announcing was that of the “Client/Server” computing paradigm, mostly on the back of some clever software which using HMTL5 to deliver a Windows Desktop on a mobile device. So hang on, we still have a client – the tablet with an App – and the server? Further the remote or virtual desktop is still a client to a server? And most web services have a web front end – the client – and a back end database – the server.
He also dismissed the mainframe, but what are we building with a virtualization solution? A big multi-processor system with loads of RAM, Storage, etc. Except we’re wasting piles of resources running multiple copies of an OS. So won’t it be better to have one OS across the hardware and run the apps on top of that – i.e. a mainframe?
This I think is where Microsoft should be going, if they could take the lessons from desktop application virtualization, vmotion, etc and apply them to server apps, they’d be able to lose a huge chunk of duplicated OS? Install a Windows cluster, apply a wrapper around the server app to virtualise just that and isolate it from other applications, then treat that like a VM now, so vmotion would work to balance loads, provide fault tolerance etc. – The Windows mainframe – or you could do with Linux and call it say “containers”?!!!
And has anyone noticed that with VMware’s Spring/Postgres, Project Octopus, Zimbra stuff they are trying to build a challenge to Microsoft/Google etc delivering Software as a service? Clearly they see the end VMware’s market dominance in virtualization!
UPDATE: I missed Systems Centre Virtual Machine Manager 2012 includes “Server App-V”. This is abilty to virtualise a Server Application (an IIS app, Exchange, SQL Server, etc) in order to seperate from the OS and allow it to be moved to another server to allow OS updates to occur independently of the App – awesome – so if these Virtualised Apps can be stacked up on a Single OS, we’re as close to a Windows Mainframe as makes no difference!!