netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,

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Nothing new under the IT sun...

This week's Network World arrived today, bearing one of their periodic "magazine style" covers (in lieu of their usual "newspaper style" cover). This week's issue has a lot on server virtualization. The cover graphic shows a trio of figures floating free in what look like 1960s sci-fi space suits against a backdrop of satellites and circular geometric figures. Teaser text in the lower right corner of the cover says "How one of the decade's hottest technologies is reshaping your universe."

That cover gave me a real good chuckle. You see, server virtualization is really nothing new. It is, quite literally, a decades old technology. It's new in the PC server world, but IBM has been doing it since the mid '70s (only they called a virtual server a "guest"). For an old green-screener this would be old, old news.

Another recent (though much quieter) revolution to sweep through the wold of Wintel servers is the remote console, introduced with Windows 2000 Server. NetWare had it by 1989. UNIX machines had telnet from the year dot, and "X-ing" into a box is as old as the X Windows System itself (1984). But, in the solipsistic world of PC-class servers, even someone else's old hat can look like a startling new development.

I get a certain curmudgeonly pleasure in watching the PC industry, which has long embraced a mainframes == evil attitude, spend its energies 'catching up' to features that Big Iron, Vaxen, and UNIX boxes have had for longer than most currently working sysadmins have been alive. Yep, makes me want to sing a verse of Every OS Sucks
Tags: geeking, history, ibm, netware, unix, virtualization

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