Virtualization technology has advanced a lot over the past 10 years. Most IT organizations now make extensive use of virtualization technology to consolidate servers and manage very large numbers of users. Virtualization provides a much improved architecture for isolating applications from hardware changes, securing systems, providing patch management, and improving power management (in large data centers). Hardware isolation means that the lifetime of applications can be extended. Built-in support for live migration improves the overall system reliability while at the same time reducing deployment time. Organizations moving in this direction are trading off the flexibility they have today with locally managed resources on PC’s for a different sort of flexibility – application flexibility. It’s much easier to load a modeling application on a virtual machine, spin it up on server, and provide users with a thin client access to the application.
Virtualization is being used today by many manufacturing organizations for off-line engineering, system design, simulation and operator training. For these organizations the benefits of centrally locating computing resources, securing access, and managing backups are very appealing. Longer term virtualized systems will make their way into online operation. An example of an OTS system is shown below.
The computer industry has invested very heavily in virtualization R&D. VMware’s ESX, Microsoft’s Hyper-V, and Citrix XEN are the industry leaders. Each of these companies is pushing the edge on high reliability, fault tolerance, and virtualized display interface technology. Expect to see major improvements from all of these companies over the next few years.
The presentation below was given by John Caldwell and Mark Nixon and Emerson Exchange. John is a DeltaV Product Manager. Mark manages the DeltaV research team.