This month we interviewed Craig J. Mathias, an internationally-recognized industry and technology analyst, consultant, conference and event speaker, and author. He currently writes features for and columns for various sites as TechTarget. Craig holds an Sc.B. degree in Computer Science from Brown University, and is a member of the Society of Sigma Xi and the IEEE. He is also a Principal with Farpoint Group, an advisory firm specializing in wireless networking and mobile IT.

Craig talked with us about the future of virtualization and the function it will have in the IT world.

In your recent article you stated that no innovation in IT had a greater impact than virtualization. Can you shortly explain why? How is virtualization impacting modern business?

Virtualization is a great strategy to provision, scale, and adapt IT infrastructure as requirements change. The future, I believe, is in using virtualization to eliminate much traditional infrastructure, reducing costs as well. Virtualization will ultimately enable us to minimize the set of premises equipment required for IT operations. Most organizations in the future will locally provision only Wi-Fi access points (APs), Ethernet switches (mostly like 10 Gbps) to interconnect and power APs, as well as to implement local traffic-management policies, and what used to be a router but which now really just a WAN interface device with a few router functions like addressing and security. Everything else, including the management console, will be virtualized in the Cloud. This might even include primary storage in many cases, as 1 Gbps will be the floor under both WAN and LAN throughput, including on 5G cellular networks. We call all of this “Extreme Virtualization”. More information about extreme virtualization you can find in this article.

Are there any things that should stay physical and shouldn’t be virtualized?

Well, some real-world hardware is always required, of course. But if by “things” we mean the abstract IT resources we use every day (and almost all are, in fact, abstract), then no. The article noted above expands on this matter.

How can virtualization improve cyber security?

Apart from needing to secure any virtualized resources, just as one needs to secure their real counterparts, virtualization really doesn’t change security challenges or solutions in any way. Even a virtualized security-as-a-service offering just changes the way security is provisioned and managed, not what is required in the first place.

Learn more about Pros and cons about VDI and Cloud IT security for businesses