Feeds

Virtualization for security

Vista of fluffy white clouds

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Sometimes we don't really see what our eyes are viewing. That's true with your computer screen, and it's true in nature as well. Oh sure, we can say what we think we're seeing, but we're missing the big story such as the man behind the curtain, to recall a famous phrase from an even more beloved movie.

For instance, it's a beautiful day here in St. Louis. The temperature is warm but not hot, there's a breeze gently wending its way through our offices, and the sun is out but not blinding. A few clouds are drifting across the sky. All in all, a perfect spring day.

A few days ago, however, I stood on the front deck of my house and watched a line of angry gray clouds sprint across the sky heading northeast. There was literally a line of demarcation in the sky: on one side was the remainder of a blue sky, running as fast as it could to flee from the dark thunderstorm chasing it along. As I watched the storm approach, I thought about one of the most fascinating bits of weather trivia I ever heard: the weight of rain clouds in terms of elephants [ABC has unfortunately removed the 2003 news article - Ed.].

Every cloud is made up of moisture, of course. On a day like today, a single fluffy cloud contains about 550 tons of water. Your average elephant weighs about six tons, so that means that those happy spring clouds are equivalent to around 100 elephants.

A bigger storm cloud, more like the one I saw barreling into the area recently, is more like 200,000 elephants in terms of weight. That's quite a jump, and it's kind of humbling, funny, and awesome to think of 200,000 elephants stampeding across the sky.

No such emotions attach to the numbers associated with a hurricane, however. Instead of awe or humor, now we're talking absolute terror. Instead of 100 elephants, or even 200,000 elephants, the water in a hurricane is equivalent to 40,000,000 - yes, forty million - elephants. Forty million elephants in the sky, bringing destruction and fear. Forty million elephants.

Next time you look at a cloud, think about how many elephants are in it. You had no idea that a cloud was so massive, and no idea that a creature so huge and seemingly earth-bound can be used to understand something so apparently light and ephemeral, did you?

And that brings us to virtualization software. You don't necessarily see what's really there.

Virtualization software

Virtualization software allows you to run multiple operating systems on one machine at the same time. Yes, that's a gross simplification, but let's keep things simple. If you're really interested, Wikipedia gives a good overview of virtualization that will help clear things up, or read the explanation offered by VMWare, one of the leading companies in this area.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.