Feeds

History dictates future of virtualization

A technology, not a market

The essential guide to IT transformation

First, a bit of history. In the early 1970s, IBM had two separate operating system development teams competing for the future of the mainframe. The establishment - represented by MVS - offered continuity from the age of the 360.

Another group of trendy virtual machine enthusiasts were quietly working on VM/370 - an exciting route away from the unwieldy monolith that MVS had become. The VM team even had stylish enamel button badges made with the legend "VM Bigot".

IBM's VM/370 was not the origin of virtualization - that accolade probably belongs to its precursors CP-40 and CP/CMS (interestingly, an early example of open source).

VM bigot badge

But it was the first commercial manifestation of virtualization and laid the ground for the bulk of development since - right down to VMWare, VirtualLogix, QEMU and a host of others.

Even in the 1970s anyone with any sense could see the advantages virtualization offered. It separates applications and operating systems from the hardware. With VM/370 you could even run MVS on top - along with other operating systems such as Unix. The irony was it took a long time for VM/370 - now called z/VM - to overtake MVS and take its place in IBM's product range. By the time it did, it was largely hidden from view - as such "deep" technology ought to be.

There is a lesson here for the new breed of "VM Bigots" (badge pictured). Virtualization is not a product - it is an enabling technology and as such it should be hidden from view. One wise commentator has already spotted this. Others who see virtualization as something more than a useful technology would do well to learn from history.®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.