V12N is a Four Letter Word

V12N is a contraction along the same vein as I18N. Both are obscure in non-tech circles, the latter perhaps less so. V12N stands for Virtualization, which is "V", 12 letters, "N". Cute, eh? Since virtualization is a mouthful to pronounce and almost as difficult to type, the contraction seems useful. (I18N is short for internationalization. Same story.)

Not everyone likes virtualization. I continue to see that V12N is a four letter word for some. That is ... when it's not embraced as the latest trendy buzz word it is scorned as threat or even as a broken promise.

This morning I got an invitation to yet another webinar. Several experts are scheduled to discuss what data center managers should do about the current state of V12N and trends in V12N. I noticed the phrase "VM sprawl". How ironic. Virtualization was recently still touted as our savior from "server sprawl". Notably absent from the panel is anyone from outside the VMware/INTeL space. (I mean, VMware is slick, as I have said for years. But what about Xen or KVM? ... and what about System z??) So it seems that they want to sell a package rather than help you solve a problem.

They always mention cloud computing these days. Of couse, "cloud" is not a four letter word, though most agree that the cloud is nothing more or less than a collection of on-demand server instances ... virtual machines. That knowledge exposes the sliver lining in what could otherwise be a dark and gloomy climatic phenomenon.

Mining the silver (from the ground or from the cloud) takes work. If you're going to get a return on your investment, you must be in the game for the long term. V12N and cloud computing promised to relieve certain IT executive headaches. But they have brought new ones. But I say that the real headache is human nature. Managers and engineers with short term thinking and with pet platform predisposition serve to short-circuit long term success. The effect is that virtualization becomes a passing fad at best or a hail storm of new costs for the budget burdened CIO.

Technology comes into play. Executives must master it. Technology is not magic: it is merely the current implementation of physics and math. (Physics ... "Not just a good idea, it's the law.") Understanding technology is the reponsibility of the executive. Explaining technology is the responsibility of the engineer. Obscuring technology is the responsibility of marketeers. (Note the important distinction between "marketers" and "marketeers".) Beware the kind of people who make good tech into bad blood. (They could turn "love" into a four letter word.)

The best V12N comes from z/VM. Full disclosure: I have made a career from that platform. Full disclosure, part 2: I don't run z/VM at home, but I do run virtualization 24x7 at home. So in balance, I am objective, and I'm tellin ya ... the best V12N comes from z/VM. System z hardware provides the highly refined basis for hosting full-function guest operating systems. z/VM adds management of the guests which other hypervisors don't, plus brings yet more features for good hosting.

Server consolidation is good. But it's not all that V12N does. Cloud computing is good. But V12N is way more than on-demand servers. There's so much more value to get from virtualization: configuration, content sharing, D/R preparedness, system consistency, simplified config and maint. I can only hope that these wonders will not be lost on managers and execs wounded by misinformation.

V12N is a four letter word, like "good" and "cool" ... and "love".

-- R;

by sirsanta April 8, 2011
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