Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's worse than that, it's virtual Jim ....

I've been busy researching for an article I'm writing on innovation and organisation. Of course, that always means that really interesting news comes out and I have to play catch-up.

So, Big Blue is looking at getting into the HaaS (hardware as a service) world along with Amazon and Microsoft, and the now well known move by RedHat into the EC2 space.

The latter certainly provides an open source standard for an OS instance running on a HaaS environment, and with multiple providers of such then we might start to see the early stages of a competitive market form. However, the key issue is still portability from one environment to another, which can only be helped by Xen's adoption of OVF as both Amazon and IBM have Xen as their core.

This issue of portable VMs (Virtual Machines) also raises whole new questions such as security. This is something Rich Miller has been exploring and I'm glad to see he is pursuing this.

The issue at stake here is that portable VMs render physical location meaningless. Any security processes or rule based upon such, will be obsolete.

Q: Where are our servers these days?

A: Two have just moved down to Florida, seven are in Miami, one is in Tokyo, three are in transit and haven't decided quite where they are going, another two have just had kids so we have a whole family of servers in London and one has gone AWOL. We're hoping that it will phone in a bit later.

Q: AWOL?

A: Yeah ... as in missing. Hang on ... just got a twitter ... it says it has setup camp in Berlin, will be back online in five minutes. Apparently it got into a fight with another server ... I'll find out later.

As Greg Ness puts it:-

"virtualization promises to clearly demarcate security technologies into two camps: 1) the dynamic and 2) the dead."

I think you can probably say the same about the hosting market.

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