There are other reasons to celebrate the passing of "virtual." The past year or two has seen a softening of the most egregious software vendor cop-out in recent memory: that their product won't work on a virtual server. This drove me mad for years. When discussing a bug or a problem with some vendor's product, it was of the utmost importance to obscure the fact that we were working with a virtual server, not a physical box. In many cases, this involved going through the VM and removing tell-tale signs that the server was virtualized by uninstalling VMware tools or at least hiding the icon and fervently hoping that a remote session with a support tech didn't require bringing up the device manager that would show all the emulated devices.
This charade was stupid but necessary. If something slipped into the conversation that might indicate the server was a VM, it would serve as an instant trigger for support to back out of the problem and claim the software wasn't working because it was on a virtual server. Never mind that it had been working fine for a year before this and nothing else had changed. Nope, it's a VM, and we can't help you.
"Aggravating" isn't strong enough a term to convey those situations, especially when one memorable problem that the vendor insisted was due to the virtualized nature of the server turned out to be an errant internal debug flag set in an update that caused a process to lose its mind after running for more than 24 hours. But no, that wouldn't have happened on a physical box.
My, how the tide has turned, with many vendors now preferring to distribute their products as VM images and eagerly displaying compatibility with many virtualization solutions, and talking all about cloud stuff like they invented it. At this point, with rare exceptions for extremely heavy computational workloads and specialized products that require oddities, such as high-end GPUs, a software vendor who doesn't support virtual servers will get laughed out of most meetings. It's just not done like that anymore.
So let's junk the modifier and move forward with our servers -- just servers. They're faster, more agile, more reliable, and more capable than ever before, whether they're riding on bare metal or the back of a hypervisor. The virtual server is the new server. And that's a great thing for IT.
This story, "Let's kick 'virtual' to the curb," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Paul Venezia's The Deep End blogat InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.