Everything new is old again – virtualization

Virtually everyone has probably heard the “new” term “virtualization.”  That’s because virtually every vendor has jumped on the virtualization bandwagon.  Virtually anything can be virtualized, it seems.

Also, virtually nobody can again on what virtualization really means.  Virtualization seems to be a conflation of two old ideas: virtual machines (what do you think VM and VMS stood for?), and distributed computing.  (Which is now being sold as “cloud computing,” an amazingly cloudy concept that’ll be the subject of another post.)

We used virtual machines a lot in the old days, and they were great for security.  We used them as goat or bait machines for viruses.  Very secure way to protect yourself when dealing with dangerous software.

Of course nowadays they use virtualization in some virtually explosive ways.  Like putting your Kerberos  KDC on the same physical box as your Web server …

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  • http://www.BeyondSecurity.com Aviram

    Rob, when was the first time you saw a ‘virtual machine’ (not just a ‘sandbox’)? Did you see anything like that before vmware?

  • http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade p1

    Oi. How long, how long. When was VMware invented? Anyway, I know there were virtual machines at least as far back as the 60s. (Usually known then as “emulation” …)