Virtualization leaps to applications, mobile devices and databases

How the technology is making the jump from the server realm into the application, mobile and database worlds.

Here, there and -- yes -- everywhere, virtualization is headed toward ubiquity.

"We're almost to the point where we don't even have to say virtualization or describe architectures as using virtualization, because it's becoming an implied part of technology," says Chris Wolf, a Gartner Inc. analyst.

Indeed, virtualization already is well on its way to dominating the server realm and is edging onto the desktop. In no time at all, virtualization's reach will expand across the application landscape, hit the mobile arena and land in the data tier. Here's a closer look at its journey across the IT infrastructure.

Across the Application Tier

If virtualization is headed one place in 2011, it's upstream, toward mission-critical applications, says James Staten, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc.

"We're starting to get to this point where organizations stop saying, 'Well, we'll never virtualize those applications, but all these we will,' and start saying, 'Why were we never going to virtualize those?' " he says.

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