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Virtualization for the luddite February 15, 2010

Posted by wholmes in VM101.

In the course of my day to day life, there are many times I am asked what I do for a living. Most times my answer will be a generic response of “I work with comptuers”. But at times, the questioner actually wants to know a little more, and I am at a loss to give a quick, simple, succinct explanation to someone not familiar with the IT field. I want to give a meaningful answer, but not one so entrenched in the weeds that the persons eyes start to glaze over. So that got me thinking, how does one explain the concept of virtualization to different target audiences.

The Average Consumer

I love VMware and it’s technology, and think VMware should be a household name ala Apple, Microsoft or IBM. While VMware does not have alot of focus on the consumer market at this time, the technology is so cool that even my Grandma would appreciate it. I believe the capabilities of virtualization can benefit even the average consumer. So how does one communicate the ‘coolness’ of VMware to the tech uninitiated?

If the person is a Mac user, the explanation could be as easy as explaining VMware Fusion as a product that moderates and ends the famous “im a Mac”, “im a PC” battle on television ads. I could even see a commercial with the VMware guy refereeing the battle. Explaining VMware Fusion allows a PC to be run as a self-contained unit on-top of a Mac should peek the interest of alot of consumers.

In the PC world, using  products such as VMware Workstation and Player is second nature to many IT professionals. However, these products are far from household names. Technology such as EMC/Iomega’s v.Clone is a really cool VMware enabled product aimed at the consumer. But even the consumer oriented v.Clone can be a little confusing to the average consumer at first site. That initial confusion scares many people away from learning about a tool that could be extremely useful in their day-to-day computing lives. So what do the rest of you guys think? Should VMware be a household name? Is it ready? How do you explain the benefits to your friends and relatives. Do you even bother trying. :-)…

In my next two posts in the “Virtualization for the luddite” series, I will discuss a couple target audiences within the Enterprise,  that can be even more stubborn and resistant to change and new technology.

The “Old School” IT Professional

The Executive


1. Jason Boche - February 15, 2010

Hi Wade,

Please allow me to welcome you and your virtualization blog to the community. I look forward to reading great things from you.


ps. I like the theme you’re using 🙂

wholmes - February 15, 2010

Thanks Jason!

2. drakpz - February 16, 2010

Hi Wade,

great news you’re starting your own blog. Already added to my list of rss feeds. 🙂

3. Tarun - February 16, 2010

Hmmm…Never thought about that 🙂

4. Paul Richards - February 20, 2010

Hi Wade,

This is a good start to a useful series of articles and I’m looking forward to reading future posts. I agree that it can be difficult at times explaining what it is that we do for a living, especially to the non-techie types.

I too would like for VMware to become a household name. I’m waiting for the day when I see random VMware logos appear on the desktops during an episode of Numb3rs…right next to those racks of Dell Servers!

Good luck with the blog!

5. Virtualization for the Luddite -Part 2 « vWade - February 20, 2010

[…] for the Luddite -Part 2 February 20, 2010 Posted by wholmes in VM101. trackback In my previous post,  I discussed the difficulties in explaining the virtues of virtualization to the average […]

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