By now, you've probably heard of virtualization technology. VMware, a virtual software provider, had a very successful IPO earlier this year, and there has been other high profile market activity, such as Dell's $1.4B acquisition of Equal Logic, a virtual storage company. Virtualization is really a hotbed of development and growth, with industry analysts indicating that most IT departments either have or will undertake virtualization projects within the next year.
The concept of virtualization has been around for some time, but in the last few years, has really grown in application and utility, even for the small network. Simply put, virtualization is the ability to pool computing resources such as CPUs, memory, disk space and network interfaces for multiple functions, instead of the traditional 1-1 mapping of hardware to operating system functionality.