With over 75 per cent of datacentre workloads now virtualised, what is left to innovate? On the other hand, with such a massive push towards "cloud", does virtualisation still have a place in an enterprise IT strategy?Virtualisation in the x86 server space that entered our hearts and minds in the mid 2000s, starting as most disruptive technologies do, in development/testing and the edge of the datacentre. As the technology matured, so did adoption and its increased pace to rule the majority of workloads that run enterprise datacentres. So began Phase I in earnest.Where there used to be hesitancy trusting virtualisation with mission critical or resource hungry workloads, we often now have to justify not virtualising new workloads. And rightly so, as it has provided many direct and indirect benefits­whether it is the primary selling point of increased hardware utilisation or simply making hardware maintenance easier by abstracting away vendor specific tie-ins­virtualisation has radically changed how we operate datacentres and manage workloads. As the market increased in value, so did the competition to the point where now all major infrastructure vendors have an enterprise virtualisation solution. The hypervisor itself is now largely a commodity and the value is in the complete management and lifecycle of workloads. This was the major change for Phase II.One could argue the Golden Age of Virtualisation has passed, especially now that there is so much focus on cloud, both public and private, containers, serverless computing, IoT, and other whizbang computing paradigms that operate above the IaaS layer. However, I posit that we are now entering Phase III of the Virtualisation era and it still has a long and healthy life to live.Without the success of virtualisation, it would be fair to say we would likely not have cloud as we know it today, or for it to be so prevalent so quickly. Does this mean that virtualisation no longer has a place in our strategic plans for workload placement and lifecycle management? Not at all. In fact, I'd argue virtualisation is more important than ever before. As workloads begin to span both traditional and cloud architectures, virtualisation has an increasingly important role to play.Virtualisation in the Phase III era needs to be more responsive, agile and valuable. Just as there are still some workloads that aren't suitable for virtualisation, so it is that not all workloads are suitable for cloud deployment. This could be because of the application architecture, licensing or cost implications or simply the time it would take to re-platform. In addition, there has always been dubious value in the lift-and-shift strategy, even when it IN MY VIEWBY ANDREW HATFIELD, PRACTICE LEAD­CLOUD STORAGE AND BIG DATA, RED HATA-Z of Today's Virtualization NeedsAndrew HatfieldNovember 20178
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