[EAS] Virtual Computers

Peter J. Kindlmann peter.kindlmann at yale.edu
Wed Nov 24 15:40:08 EST 2010

Dear Friends and Colleagues -

"IMAGINE a personal computer that has two souls. One moment it is your work
machine, complete with a set of corporate applications and tight security
settings. Then it becomes an entertainment centre, allowing you to watch any
video and download any program.
Thanks to a process called 'virtualisation', such computers are now being
created. ..."

"ONE kind of hardware will probably never be virtualised: processors.
After all, these are the brains of every digital device. Yet chips, too, are
becoming more malleable. Demand is growing for processors that are not just made
for a single purpose but can be reconfigured with a special programming tool, a
bit like rewritable DVDs. The research arm of Deutsche Bank predicts this
segment of the semiconductor market will grow by an annual average of 14% in the
next few years."

Many of you are already familiar with the technicalities, but these two items
are a good reminder of the likely restructuring effects this trend will have on
the computer industry and on IT departments.
It seems to me, though, that the previously quite distinct cycles between
central and distributed computing are becoming less distinct, as they converge
toward an equilibrium mixture.

Have a good Thanksgiving holiday!  --PJK 

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