4. How CIOs should think about virtualization
In essence, virtualization increases flexibility by decoupling an operating system and the services and applications supported by that system from a specific physical hardware platform. It allows the establishment of multiple virtual environments on a shared hardware platform.
Virtualization can also be used to lower costs. One obvious benefit comes from the consolidation of servers into a smaller set of more powerful hardware platforms running a collection of virtual environments. Not only can costs be reduced by reducing the amount of hardware and reducing the amount of unused capacity, but application performance can actually be improved since the virtual guests execute on more powerful hardware.
Regardless of the specific needs of your enterprise, you should be investigating virtualization as part of your system and application portfolio as the technology is likely to become pervasive. We expect operating system vendors to include virtualization as a standard component, hardware vendors to build virtual capabilities into their platforms, and virtualization vendors to expand the scope of their offerings.