I just got back from a client visit which lead to an interesting revelation. I went there to support the network management software that my company makes. Upon arriving at the client’s desk, I happened to notice a familiar KVM appliance sitting on his desk.
“Hey, I happen to know a lot about that KVM,” I said, nonchalantly.
“Yeah, I’m finding myself using it less and less,” he remarked. That’s when I noticed the KVM was disconnected. This gentleman happens to be the VMWare expert at this certain company.
His comment was telling, and I surprised myself in not thinking about it before. I can’t recall a single customer I’ve visited in the past year who didn’t have some servers running VMWare. I run into it literally everywhere. This fanatical adoption of VMWare made me prod my broker to buy VMWare stock. Like I predicted, VMWare had an outstanding IPO.
Virtualizing servers cuts down on costs. Hardware costs, especially. Fewer physical servers are needed running VM sessions. Dell and other vendors will still sell hardware, particularly hardware optimized for virtualization. Software costs, on the other hand, are roughly the same. You still need your Windows licenses for Windows. In fact, Windows’s instability and vulnerability to viruses helps drive virtualization efforts, since the admin can now simply reimage an errant server. That means Bill Gates can breathe easy about virtualization.
The biggest loser against virtualization is the KVM vendor. Every new virtualized server means one less KVM port. If new servers are being totally virtualized – and at many datacenters I’ve visited this is exactly what is taking place – the KVM business is dead, pure and simple.
Virtualization is one of the fastest technology adoptions I’ve ever seen. If your livelihood depends on the KVM business, you’d better find a different business, pronto.