Virtualization In Meatspace

Computer virtualization is all the rage these days. Heck, in the video I shot last week, I installed about 12 Linux distributions on a VM, because it made recording a lot simpler. (If you're wondering, only 9 made the cut, the others gave me fits) Server virtualization is allowing for more efficient use of high end hardware, and even SAN disks are creating virtual (yet real) storage drives for multiple systems at the same time.

And here's where I wax philosophic for a bit. We see the same trend in our own lives. The devices we thought would save us time, are in fact making us busier and busier. Think about it, palm pilots organized our lives, so now we can fit more things into our lives. Cell phones allow us to communicate while we're off doing... you guessed it, more stuff. Just like the giant servers in the closet virtualizing away slices of their time, we're doing the same in our lives.

Right now, I'm at a teen Bible Camp for a week, where I'm a speaker. While I'm here, the staff is taking advantage of my geekiness, and I'm fixing some computer issues. I also have a laptop with me, on which, in my "free time", I'm editing articles for the September issue of Linux Journal, and writing this very post. I also have a VPN set up, so I can manage an entire network of Macintosh and Linux desktops sitting in a school 350 miles away. If you add my office phone that is forwarded to my cellphone, and my home phone which is just a Skype-In number -- I'm busy and yet available about 26 hours of the day.

So while I think, as technologists, we are becoming better and better at multitasking, I don't think we'll ever get all the extra free time we imagine is bound to happen as we streamline our lives. Any space that we clear away, we'll just fill up with another "virtual server" that will use our idle CPU cycles. Here's the deal: schedule fun. Plan for downtime. Don't leave blanks in your calendar, scribble the spots out.

And with that, I'm going to go for a walk by the lake. Unfortunately, I'll have my cellphone, in case anyone needs to reach me. :)

______________________

Shawn Powers is an Associate Editor for Linux Journal. You might find him chatting on the IRC channel, or Twitter

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState