Benchmarking Consolidation & Virtualization – Variables and Distractions

I’ve been getting a number of inquiries recently regarding benchmarking potential savings from consolidating multiple physical servers onto a smaller number of servers using VMs, usually VMware. The variations in the complexity of the existing versus new infrastructures, operating environments, and applications under consideration make it impossible to come up with consistent rules of thumb, and in most cases, also make it very difficult to predict with any accuracy what the final outcome will be absent a very tedious modeling exercise.

However, the major variables that influence the puzzle remain relatively constant, giving us the ability to at least set out a framework to help analyze potential consolidation projects. This list usually includes:

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Microsoft’s Inner Conflict With Privacy

This article from The Wall Street Journal offers a fascinating glimpse into some inner workings at Microsoft. The short version of the story: the IE team was building in some pretty powerful anti-tracking technology into IE 8.0; Microsoft’s ad business got wind of it; the functionality got quashed or crippled. Microsoft's ad group saw the privacy controls as a significant threat to their business: namely, that curbing data collection reduces the effectiveness of advertising. The article notes:

“When Microsoft released the browser in its final form in March 2009, the privacy features were a lot different from what its planners had envisioned. The feature, called InPrivate Filtering, isn’t turned on by default, and resets to OFF every time the browser closes down."

According to the article, the two sides faced off, and Microsoft “convened a four-hour meeting…to allow outside organizations to voice their concerns, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the Online Publishers' Association and the American Association of Advertising Agencies.” Sounds like a pretty stacked deck. What about organizations representing the privacy side, such as EPIC or EFF?

Microsoft’s CPO was involved. But I wonder where the Trustworthy Computing (TWC) team was in all this? Here’s an excerpt from TWC’s  privacy page:

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