As virtualization has advanced and encouraged end-user companies to consolidate many small servers onto a
few large machines, IBM has encouraged all forms of virtualization and supplied virtualization customers with
virtual-server-specific versions of its hardware, systems-management software, security, operating systems and professional
As the leading player in data-center hardware, software and integration services, IBM is in an admirable
position to welcome all comers to the virtualization market with the storage and server products to support many servers
running on one box, and the services to build complex virtual data centers. Along with HP, IBM is the Levi Strauss of the
virtualization gold rush, getting rich selling shovels to prospectors rather than doing the digging themselves.
As significant as its systems business is to virtualization, its focus on creating a suite of virtual-server-specific
security products and services may make it more of an agenda-setting player than it has been in the past.