Can all apps be virtualized? — Turning up the contrast.

So, building off Bob's post from September (, I contend that, at least from a performance perspective, with the new capabilities in the next generation of virtualized infrastructure coming this year, the answer is yes!

As we look at the availability of ESX 4.0 from VMWare and servers based on the Intel Nehalem-based Xeon servers with new VT features for CPU, chipset and IO later this year, we're not seeing any of the mainstream applications that can't be virtualized. In the past, some of the mainstream apps that (allegedly) couldn't be virtualized that we've consistently heard are SAP and other complex business processing apps, middle sized databases and large enterprise email systems like Microsoft Exchange. While it's a little early to declare victory, we're thinking the next generation of technology will be more than good enough to run these workloads in most environments. We're currently running testing on the lastest generation infrastructure software and not seeing any reason why most of these apps won't be capable of being virtualized over the next couple of years.

Anyone think differently? Why?

Note, other issues remain:

  • Even if I don't run the applications on the same physical server as other applications, is the virtual infrastructure secure and reliable enough to support these important applications?
  • And, if I try to consolidate the app with other apps, can I be guaranteed that the app won't interfere or be interfered with by other apps. Interference could be either unintentional resource contention or intential security attacks.
  • Do I have the tools and support infrastructure to do such a critical application in a virtual infrastructure.

I'm making no claims on whether these particular challenges have been solved but I would be interested in whether they are real issues for you.

What do you think?

Jim Blakley

<Note: This is a duplicate to the blog I posted at VMWorld Europe last week. I'll pull over the responses as replies to this>