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What is the virtualization "backlash" and why is it important?

By Justin Stoltzfus | Last updated: August 10, 2017
Made Possible By Turbonomic

The virtualization backlash in IT is the idea that some companies may be moving away from that classic virtualization structure, either back to more hardware-dependent systems, or forward to new paradigms like hyperconvergence.

Any virtualization backlash stems from the immense popularity of virtualized systems, which are springing up in data centers around the world at an astounding rate. Gartner projects the virtualization market will continue to grow in the short term. Having said that, there are situations where companies choose not to use virtualized systems, and some experts characterize this as a “virtualization backlash” or a move away from peak popularity.

Where companies may be moving back to some form of hardware dependence, they may do so for different reasons. They may be adding scaling infrastructure, and unwilling to build that scaling infrastructure in the same way as their existing systems for one reason or another. They may decide that a hybrid approach makes sense for running different kinds of workloads or data. They may want control over some new server system. The list of reasons can go on.

As for hyperconvergence, businesses are often utilizing a hyperconverged approach to save money and reduce their hardware burdens. Because hyperconvergence actually consolidates hardware, it lowers the responsibility of the company to spend on rack space and hardware, and to maintain hardware assets.

Moves away from virtualization are important because they show that technology adoption is not a monolithic phenomenon. Even while there is a sea change toward a particular technology, such as virtualization or cloud computing, there will often be a backlash to the same principles, as individual companies and businesses find out what's right for them. There is always a balance between cost, security, scalability and performance, and any move toward or away from virtualization needs to reflect that. That's the importance of analyzing why some companies may be running toward virtualization, and others may be running away.

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Written by Justin Stoltzfus | Contributor, Reviewer

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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.

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