Well, well, well… look at this. Microsoft is unfurling more and more layers of its next-gen computing and software strategy – especially with regards to virtualization.
(Ok, a required disclosure: We are currently under NDA with Microsoft and have some confidential knowledge around certain roadmap and product plans, but NOTHING in this blog post is based on any inside knowledge derived from, or in any way based on, those confidential discussions).
The reason I wanted to blog on this is in relationship to the IT in Transition theme is that, as I have written in several blogs, the entire landscape of the endpoint is changing. A lot of people see this, so this view is in no way unique or revolutionary to us.
A couple of posts ago I blogged on the coming Endpoint Wars of 2009. In order to make that post digestible, I intentionally left a detailed and deep discussion about the impact of virtualization and hypervisors out of that post.
Let me add a bit of my color (and opinion) here:
Quoting from David Marshall’s article:
So what’s new and different? Didn’t they already release Hyper-V? This platform is slightly different from the version found in Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 operating system. According to Microsoft, it provides a simplified, reliable, and optimized virtualization solution for customers to consolidate Windows or Linux workloads on a single physical server or to run client operating systems and applications in server based virtual machines running in the datacenter. And it allows customers to leverage their existing tools, processes and skills. But perhaps best of all, Microsoft is making this product a no-cost Web download — yup, it’s free!
Yup, it’s free.
Also from the article:
The provisioning and management tools are based on Microsoft System Center, providing centralized, enterprise-class management of both physical and virtual resources.
And the management mechanisms and tools are “above platform” as we’d expect, with Microsoft System Center being adapted as the management framework, as we’d expect.
So the Hypervisor (HV) wars are in full force now as well. Obviously this is just the leading edge of the one of the fronts of the Endpoint Wars.
Seems like the three major battlegrounds are VMWare, Citrix and now Microsoft. If highly capable hypervisors are going to be “loss leader” in any go-forward virtualization platform strategy, then where will the value and revenue shift to as the traditional demarcations are realigned?
Our guess is that more of the instrumentation will be subsumed into the platforms (as we have stated for quite some time) including into the HV. This obviously will force more of the method “above platform” including image management and enforcement. And where does traditional infosec (AV, IDS, etc) move in this new world?
And these services will go well beyond software streaming, and likely include image management and high-assurance software and full software stack delivery methods.
And platform intrinsic security and compliance “instrumentation”, supported by above platform validation and attestation methods, will likely become commonplace.
Food for thought.