The Linux Key is Virtualization?

Dell's CTO tells LinuxWorld attendees that virtualization will drive Linux deeper into the mainstream.

BOSTON -- Dell's Chief Technology Office Kevin Kettler presented a powerful vision Dell has for extending virtualization beyond its traditional uses and into the mainstream.

Kettler began his keynote presentation at LinuxWorld this week by reminding the crowd of a comment his boss, Dell founder Michael Dell made, during a LinuxWorld 2000 keynote. Dell said he didn't believe that Solaris on Intel is the answer but that Dell believes the answer is Linux on Intel.

As a proof point for Dell's Linux commitment, Kettler explained to the audience that Dell runs its $56 billion high growth business on scale out of architecture based on Linux. Dell's supply chain management system runs on Linux and so it has put Linux front and center.

Virtualization expands the opportunities for Linux in a real way.

"Linux is bound by traditional platforms; virtualization sets it free," Kettler said. "Virtualization can really open a lot of opportunities for unique software applications and environments to run on a single platform."

Kettler explained that the key to Dell's virtualization vision is the ability to easily move applications across different physical pieces of hardware.

"In a virtualized environment, it becomes much cleaner around how we wrap and package things, and redeployment and reuse becomes phenomenal."

The traditional use of virtualization has been server and storage consolidation helping enterprises deal with underutilized servers,'' he said.

"Enterprises today have low server utilization, and we're trying to help customers to a point where they can utilize near 100 percent capacity. Historically, virtualization has been driven by enterprise need at Dell. We believe that's about to change."

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