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A student asked a zen master "What is the value of virtualization — redshift or blueshift?" The zen master answered "Mu."

Ben Rockwood at Joyent:

I was asked to co-present with an engineer from Sun
at an upcoming conference in October. I asked him to do his slides and
then shoot me over the presentation so I could fill in my half. I
noticed that his view of virtualization and mine were very different.
To put it into jargon speak, there is a difference between Redshift
virtualization and Blueshift virtualization. …

Essentially it says that there are two different classes of business: “blueshift” companies that grow according to GDP
and are essentially over-served by Moore’s Law that computing power
doubles every two years, and “redshift” companies that grow off the
charts, and which are grossly under- served by Moore’s Law.

i.e., blueshift is server consolidation and redshift is dynamically bring new servers up quickly on your virtual infrastructure.  Zen blade master Martin MacLeod says that is the wrong answer — the value of virtualization is really in transforming your business process in both slow- and fast-growth businesses.

Martin MacLeod at Blade Watch:

But where virtualization really brings benefits is in the non-technical
arena. The ability to turn it all around, to be a real business
enabler, that the IT infrastructure can grow and adapt in line with the
business need, that we move to a system of service provisioning where
IT handle everything and provide the business with the virtual
instance, a world where I can request a server for a month to test that
.NET framework 3.0 works ok with my application, then give it back,
where I can be allocated more processing power or memory in minutes not
weeks due to the purchasing process needing sign off, processing and
parts delivery.