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LinuxWorld 2006 Boston – Dell CTO Puts Linux & Virtualization Center Stage

Virtualization Is Challenging Traditional Models of Computing, Says Kevin Kettler

Dell Inc. CTO Kevin Kettler (pictured) gave a keynote yesterday here at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in Boston on the week's hottest topic, virtualization. "Virtualization and Linux: Anything but Traditional" was its title and Kettler discussed how virtualization is challenging traditional models of computing and explored client virtualization opportunities that allow users to run multiple OS instances to improve productivity, provide secure Web browsing, and enhance digital entertainment.

Kettler spoke of the "significant shift" in the industry relative to where we were a few years ago with virtualization and said that there's a lot of work ahead to flush this out for interoperability between hardware platforms and virtualized environments.

He urged the software industry to "rethink" licensing agreements for virtualized environments, and exemplified the headway virtualization is making in the enterprise by referencing the example of how Dell is using Linux in supercomputers and within its own business for critical applications such as supply chain management (SCM).

Dell, Kettler reminded the audience in Boston's Convention Center, runs its own $56BN business on Linux - in that its all-important supply chain management system runs on Linux.

Waxing almost lyrical, he went on the praise the galvanizing role of virtualization:

"Linux is bound by traditional platforms; virtualization sets it free. It can really open a lot of opportunities for unique software applications and environments to run on a single platform."
"Enterprises today have low server utilization," Kettler continued, "and Dell is trying to help customers to a point where they can utilize near 100 percent capacity."

His most important call to action was to developers:

"With virtualization, the opportunity is to drive Linux adoption even deeper on the client, but there are still a few things that need to happen to make virtualization pervasive. Users need to embrace virtualization, and developers need to understand the opportunity. They need to support standards, and vendors need to revisit licensing concerns."
"We believe virtualization is key," Kettler said in closing. "Linux is also key and both together can play a strong role both within the enterprise and the client."


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Most Recent Comments
Go Linux!! 04/06/06 07:50:27 AM EDT

The real meta-message here is simple: Dell's success as a company is built on its triumph at building out a supply chain that allows it manufacture computers at a price that killed most of the competition. And it's running on Linux!!!

Headroom4 04/06/06 07:48:38 AM EDT

I liked the bit where he said that virtual systems on a desktop could allow a browser to run in a dedicated environment that can be killed entirely if it became infected by a virus. What a relief that would be!