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October 2008, Vol. 5

OS often dictates hardware choice in virtual environments

Server platforms exhibit differences in the level of sophistication of virtualization software, especially in virtualization infrastructure and management capabilities. To make the best architectural choice, IT managers should understand these differences. OS choice generally dictates hardware choice. The OS on which applications are deployed usually dictates the underlying hardware platform choices. If your organization has a Windows environment, for example, choosing the right hardware platform is fairly straightforward. Windows runs on x86-based hardware and on Itanium-based platforms. If your organization runs advanced 64-bit applications, then Unix is the dominant OS choice. If your organization runs z/OS or other mainframe OSes, clearly a mainframe platform and an associated microprocessor architecture should be chosen. Platform choice is important. The IT marketplace has begun to bifurcate and move toward (1) scale-up architectures (including scale-up x86 multiprocessor servers, RISC servers and mainframes) and (2) ...

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