To me, one of the more interesting aspects of virtualization (as a generic term) is the many different ways in which technical layers of abstraction can be combined.  The short list of technologies generally includes the following types of virtualization:

  • Sessions / Presentation
  • Server
  • Application
  • Desktop
  • Network
  • Storage

While these areas all differ widely from the standpoint of technical implementation, they all share the common goal of abstracting the physical implementation of a service layer from its technical components.  One case in point is the use of application virtualization on the server side.  My recent article, The benefits of application virtualization for servers and clouds provides some details on how this technology can be used to enable cloud computing.  From the article’s introduction:

Some combinations — such as peanut butter and chocolate — just go together. Similarly, with myriad virtualization options, several methods can work well together.

Virtualization has proven effective in addressing many of the challenges of data center management. But organizations that have invested in virtualization often encounter new and different problems. This tip discusses using application virtualization for server-based virtualization, the problems application virtualization attempts to solve and how this virtualization approach can improve virtualization administration and the management of data center resources.

The article is available for free online (registration is required).