Was it really a whole decade ago when we embarked on this scary new venture into the unknown abyss that was virtualization? How things have changed now that we've reached the day of the hoverboard.

Admittedly, the history of virtualization can be traced back to the 60's, with IBM's early inception enabling the division of huge mainframe computers to achieve more efficient hardware utilization.

IBM-1960s

But we all know this technology didn't really gain any traction until the turn of the millennium and the rise of the juggernaut that is VMware. Even at this time, the idea of trusting such technology in production systems was deemed verging on insanity. Yet all the while, VMware were building what was going to prove nothing short of revolutionary, and numerous other players were jumping on the bandwagon.

The 2000's saw the birth of many of today's core hypervisor vendors. In 2003 the first open source provider, Xen Project, was released. 2007 saw the birth of KVM and VirtualBox, whilst Microsoft were relatively late to the party with their beta version of Hyper-V being shipped with certain editions of Windows Server 2008.

With many of today's competitors to VMware starting later than 2007, you can start to understand why Loadbalancer.org's leap into virtualization in 2006 was very exciting, yet pretty damn scary at the same time! At this stage, even the likes of F5 Networks and Kemp Technologies were keeping their proverbial barge-pole at a safe distance, with their virtual editions released in 2010 and 2009 respectively.

The whole process is reminiscent of my own personal sporting 'career'. After picking up a footballing injury in my twenties, I was forced to prematurely embark on the game of golf. At the time it was all very daunting, and I felt out my depth. However, after a few years, I started to really see the fruits of my labour, and it's really beneficial to have had that head-start over all my friends!

Similarly, despite some skepticism back in 2006, Loadbalancer.org now find themselves celebrating 10 years as a member of the VMware Technology Alliance Partner Program, and we couldn't be happier. VMware have over 75,000 partners and we're proud to be number 576.

The growth of the virtualization industry is abundantly apparent in the breakdown of Loadbalancer.org installations. A little over 10 years ago and we were 100% a hardware vendor. In 2016, 60% of all installations are within a virtualized environment, with over 4,000 VMware deployments globally.

Whilst VMware's competitors now offer highly robust platforms, suitable for production environments, VMware remain at the forefront of virtualization - and I can't see that changing any time soon.

I wonder how long it'll be until I'm writing a similar post about cloud deployments and AWS.