Since starting this blog, I've had the chance to speak with representatives of over 80 different companies offering something related to virtualization. I find it's pretty easy to spot trends based upon what these suppliers tell me during our discussions. Although this certainly isn't an extensive or exhaustive list (I'm the only thing that's exhausted here), these appear to be the areas that are getting the most focus right now.
Access virtualizationHelping people remotely access applications and data hosted on a broad selection of Windows, Linux, Unix, single vendor midrange environments and mainframes from just about remotely over just about any network using just about any intelligent client device over just about any network is the focus of a number of companies. Some of these suppliers have dusted off older technology, changed the front end so it will support Web-based architectures as well as their proprietary client software, and then updated their messages so it sounds new and exciting. Others have done some truly innovative work.
Application virtualizationMoving applications into a logical or virtual environment so that it can scale to a larger number of users, perform better, be easily rehosted from system to system or be orchestrated as part of a larger optimization effort is the focus of a number of other companies. Most require that applications be modified to use their application framework. Some, however, have come up with clever ways to offer these benefits without a great deal of development effort.
Processing virtualizationThis is a more complex area and one that's getting much of the media attention. The notion here is either harnessing the power of many systems so that it looks like a single computing resource is the focus of some suppliers. Making a single system appear to be many different computing resources is the focus of others. These two groups appear to be colliding with one another and new releases from one group offer many of the same features of releases from the other.
Management of virtualized resourcesIdentifying, creating, provisioning, managing, updating, etc. virtual and physical resources is the focus of another group of suppliers. Many of these companies have a long track record in the systems or network management space. There are also many exciting newcomers who are bringing different approaches to the market
I've been hearing from quite a few startups in this category.
Other areasThere's some activity in the areas of network virtualization, storage virtualization and security for virtualized environments as well. These categories, however, aren't the source of as much activity as the top three.
What other areas of activity have you seen?