Team “Virtualization”

Last Sunday concluded the Amgen Tour of California bike race which, for those who don’t follow cycling, was a 9 day road race through California covering 780 miles.  The eventual winner, Levi Leipheimer, won by only 36 seconds in overall time to the number two finisher!

Now, you may ask, “What does cycling have to do with virtualization?”  Well, many customers believe that the VMM or core virtualization software, in itself, is what “virtualization” means.  It is true that the VMM is the core and most obvious part of virtualization, but all the supporting components around virtualization: management, security, automation, provisioning, reliability, performance, etc. are what actually allow it's users to achieve the ROI they’re expecting and the reduction in TCO from implementing this new paradigm.  If your looking for a start to trying to determining the ROI of a virtualization implementation with Intel take a look at Intel’s ROI Estimator. ( .

When I watched my first bike race, I didn’t get it.  Cycling seemed an individual sport, each rider trying to ride the course, on his own, with the fastest time, in a large group of riders.  Now I realize that what cycling really is, is a team sport. Each team is comprised of a complex network of riders, each with different roles.  Levi’s team, “Team Astana”, like all teams, has a large support staff that you don’t see, comprised of coaches, strategists, mechanics, etc.  Everyone has a role to play in trying to get just one team rider over the finish line the fastest.

The supporting components of virtualization that play key roles in providing virtualization’s true value include a network of software and hardware components.  On the hardware side, Intel’s latest 6-Core Xeon 7400 CPU, improves performance by as much as 50% from previous generation processors ( It pays to have a fast machine.  Much like Levi’s high tech roadbike. (  

In future BLOGs I'd like to try and help answer the following questions:

  • How Intel is taking advantage of the advances in virtualization management, and how is this impacting operational efficiencies?  What are your experiences with virtualization management?
  • What are the best strategies/Best Known Methods (BKM’s) for implementing and using management with server virtualization?
  • How can an integrated lifecycle management approach help in our virtualization implementations?
  • What have you seen with the role of automation in reducing costs?

I look forward to passing on the BKM’s I am discovering in the areas of virtualization management as I consult with Intel customers around the world. . .and, I may throw in a few additional cycling tidbits because as you all now know: cycling and virtualization are surprisingly parallel!