What We Do
As a local user group, we physically meet monthly, by default on the Third Thursday.
The 2-3 hour meeting provides an opportunity for education, knowledge transfer, and training through formal presentations, demonstrations, and discussions. As a local user group, of course networking is an important element and typically we provide some refreshments and door prizes.
Unless there is an objection from a presenter, all presentations will be recorded. These recordings may be downloaded and viewed by our members offline at a later time, and may be shared with other local user groups that are part of the Virtualization User Group Alliance. We plan at some point to make the presentations streamed live over the internet as well.
From time-to-time we also host special events. A great example of this is our inaugural event "Virtualization Deep Dive Day"
What We Cover
We use a very inclusive approach in determining what we consider to fit under the Virtualization umbrella. The list of interest areas that we have defined is expected to change as technology and interests advance. Currently, we have identified the following areas of interest to the group:
- Server Virtualization
- Desktop Virtualization (Hosted and Local)
- Presentation Virtualization
- Application Virtualization
- Storage Virtualization
- Network Virtualization
- Cloud Computing
- Going Green
No two people are likely to give you the same definition to any of these terms; see "Areas of Intereest" below for more information on how we define these areas.
Virtualization Boston desires to affiliate with other local User Groups around the world that focus on the Virtualization space. As such, we are branding a global member alliance we call the "Virtualization User Group Alliance". Alliance members will be able to share designated content to extend the reach of technical knowledge well beyond that for which any one group could cover.
See the sidebar on alliances at the bottom right side of the home page for more infomration.
We seek to advance the technical knowledge of our members, who are generally active IT professionals, contractors, consultants, and vendors. While presentations may sometimes focus on a particular vendor solution which requires an understanding of "why", presentations generally focus on the "how". Another way we state this is that presentations should be technical as opposed to marketing and at "level 200" or above.
We center our focus on the needs of mid-size organizations. At the same time we understand that the needs or larger organizations are more complex and that we can all still learn much from practices and products suited to their needs.
Current Areas Of Interest
Server Virtualization is concerned with the hosting of multiple server operating systems on a single hardware platform. Epitomized by products from vendors such as VMware,, Microsoft, Citrix, Virtual Iron, and others, server virtualization provides many companies advantages in consolidation, power, management, and deployment flexibility.
Desktop Virtualization (called VDI by some), shares many of the technical details of server virtualization, but involves the virtualization of desktop operating systems rather than server operating systems. Because the management needs of desktop users are much more complex, often different products are needed to service those needs. The Desktop Virtualization space itself consists of several sub-spaces with very different solution architectures. This includes what we call the "hosted desktop" space, and the "local desktop" space. Hosted Desktop Virtualization is where the desktop is hosted on back-end equipment (such as a blade server or a multi-VM host such as is used in server virtualization), often combined with some kind of broker service to manage user connections . Local Desktop Virtualization is where the virtualized operating system is run on the local PC that the person is using.
In terms of number of end-users, the largest usage of any of the Virtualizations we cover is that of multi user session sharing of a single OS, as in Microsoft Terminal Services and X-Windows. In this form of virtualization, user input and output devices are remoted to a single instance of an operating system where sessions are established to isolate activities. The higher user density that may be achieved using Presentation Virtualization will keep this class of solution popular for many years to come. In addition, many other virtualization solutions borrow from the connectivity protocols present in Presentation Virtualization solutions.
Application Virtualization isolates not at the OS or User level, but at the application itself. Application Virtualization helps to solve not only application compatibility and conflict issues, but when layered with other forms of virtualization can create a dynamic stateless infrastructure environment.
Cloud Computing is generally considered to be scenarios whereby companies run software and/or services hosted that are hosted by other companies. The software and/or services may be private or public in nature. Cloud computing may incorporate Application Service Providers, hosting sites, and business solutions such as Google Apps, Microsoft Live Services, and others.
Advances in storage are the most important advances today affecting the performance, availability, and manageability of our systems. Numerous vendors are creating new technology, and advanced management capabilities, that are required by virtualization.
Rather than a technology or a product, this category is used to capture the interest and momentum in "going green".