IBM Buys An Entire Corporation To Enhance Server Virtualization - InformationWeek

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Commentary
11/24/2008
01:17 PM
Lamont Wood
Lamont Wood
Commentary
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IBM Buys An Entire Corporation To Enhance Server Virtualization

IBM's M&A activity during the current economic crisis shows the importance of server virtualization.

IBM's M&A activity during the current economic crisis shows the importance of server virtualization.IBM has announced plans to purchase Transitive Corp., a firm in Los Altos, CA, whose technology is built into IBM's PowerVM software that lets customers consolidate x86 Linux applications on IBM servers. No terms were announced, but the privately-held Transitive Corp. is estimated (by Hoovers) to have annual revenues of $5.6 million.

While high-technology mergers and acquisition (M&A) has hardly been dead during the past year, IBM has been playing its cards close to the chest. Reportedly, it had announced only two acquisitions previously this year, and the latest was in March when it acquired a single-sign-on security vendor. In January it acquired an Israeli SAN vendor.

It all goes to show that Big Blue takes server virtualization seriously, which gives the field further legitimacy. Surely, someday, we'll see virtualization that's actually practical for the SMB market.

PowerVM, incidentally, is not exactly aimed at the SMB market, as it provides virtualization for the AIX, i, and Linux operating systems on IBM Power Systems with POWER5 and POWER6 processors. Still, that's not exactly the mainframe arena, either.

Meanwhile, Intel has come out with a white paper which implies that virtualization can already be categorized into three current or upcoming generations or versions. Version 1.0 virtualization involved cost reduction, and is presumably where we are at now. Version 2.0 virtualization will be aimed at achieving efficiencies through load balancing. Intel also envisions version 3.0 virtualization, which will involve "adaptive continuity," presumably meaning that the servers will fix certain problems without user intervention.

Let's hope that all three versions show up at the SMB level.


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