Dan Kusnetzky: The 7-Layer Virtualization Model

ATN-300InsightaaS: Virtualization is a kind of Swiss Army knife for enterprise IT (or maybe duct tape is a better analogy). It allows for different products to be knitted together in ways that improve performance, manageability and ROI.

But - what is virtualization, exactly, and how does it work? In this easy-t0-digest post, Dan Kuznetzky provides a clear analysis dividing virtualization into seven 'layers'. Kusnetzky is well-known as an expert in the area: he's an analyst for whom InsightaaS has a great deal of respect, one who has deep experience as both an IT supplier (DEC) and analyst (IDC, 451 Research), and who publishes on vritualization in several different forums, including Virtualization Review, the source of today's feature. In the post highlighted today, Kusnetzky de-mystifies virtualization, illustrating the different levels at which virtualization works. He starts at the top, with "layer 1," which allows applications to work with remote client devices without change, and moves through application virtualization (layer 2), processing virtualization (layer 3, and the 'nome' of software defined data centres), storage virtualization, network virtualization (layer 5 - the source of SDN), and two layers that are positioned somewhat 'sideways' to the first five, management and security. 

My Virtualization Review colleague, Tom Fenton, just published a tongue-in-cheek article that's a wonderful springboard to a deeper and fuller discussion of virtualization as a whole.

Tom's article humorously discusses how to describe what virtualization is and does to someone -- his Mom, in this case -- who's not all that familiar with technology. It could leave the impression, however, that virtualization is just the use of virtual machine (VM) software. VM software is just one of five things found in the virtual processing layer of my model of virtualization. There are seven layers in this model. The model is described in greater detail in my 2011 O'Reilly Media book, "Virtualization: A Manager's Guide," if you care to read more.

Virtualization is an approach that was developed by the pioneers of computing systems, IBM and Boroughs (now Unisys) back in the ancient days of computing, the 1960s. It involved using unused computing resources to create an artificial, but useful, view of system capabilities. Let's walk through the layers to see what they do...

Read the entire post on the Virtualization Review site: Link