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Virtual computing to make IT as easy as electricity

Just as we do not necessarily have generators in each house, but “draw” electricity from a grid and pay monthly bills, Virtual computing to make IT as easy as electricity, writes Puneet Mehrotra.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2008 23:29 IST
Puneet Mehrotra

Virtual computing to make IT as easy as electricity

Can you imagine a future where a company has no computer department, but everyone works on a PC without much of a problem for IT folks to solve? Can you imagine a day when you can log on to any Net-linked computer anywhere and expect to see the same desktop icons and files you use regularly?

That day is already here for a few companies, and is poised to become a new trend: it is called virtual computing.

Just as we do not necessarily have generators in each house, but “draw” electricity from a grid and pay monthly bills, virtual computing will increasingly make network and software management as easy as electricity or water services.

Simply put, ‘virtual computing’ involves the use of software applications and security features loaded on to a common shared infrastructure which is outside the captive data centres companies have—but with all facilities intact.

Industry research firm IDC predicts that by 2010 there will be 4.1 crore network computers (servers) physically deployed a 700 per cent rise from 1995. The share of servers currently deployed as 'virtualised' form 22 per cent and that number is projected to reach 45 per cent in just 12 months.

Global companies like Citrix and VMware are leading this trend. Smaller companies like Nivio.com too are betting on the market based on a consumer-driven model which aims at the common man, students, mobile professionals or just about anybody.

“Desktop virtualisation is a rapidly expanding new market with tremendous upside potential" says Gordon Payne, senior vice-president and general manager, Citrix Systems.

For companies, managing dozens or thousands of computer terminals by making them secure from viruses and hackers is a painful, expensive task. “Virtualisation” takes care of all that – as also licensing of software.

Souma Das, Area Vice President, Citrix India says the online desktop as 'the next big thing in IT revolution'.

"With around four crore Internet subscribers in India, there is a huge opportunity. Desktop virtualization is the next level of innovation at Citrix," Das says.

Citrix has acquired a company called Xensource whose technology enables an easy inter-face for users, while it earlier acquired NetScaler, founded by Indian-born BV Jagadeesh, to help make high-volume file movement more efficient. NetScaler’s product was developed in Bangalore.