Register Debate Welcome to the latest registry debate where editors discuss technology topics and you, the reader, choose the winning argument. The format is simple: we propose a motion, the arguments for the motion will take place on Monday and Wednesday, and the arguments against Tuesday and Thursday.

During the week, you can vote for which side you support using the built-in poll below, choosing whether you are for or against the motion. The final score will be announced on Friday, revealing whether the pro or con argument was the most popular. It’s up to our editors to convince you to vote for their side.

This week’s motion is: Containers will kill virtual machines

And now, today, arguing FOR the motion is TIMOTHY PRICKETT MORGAN, the co-editor of our sister publication, The Next Platform …

Over time, as Amazon Web Services senior executives like to say when they think about the future, we will live in a world where most new applications are written as microservices and are packaged, loaded, released. update and stop as container pods providing isolation between these applications. The fullness of time, however, can mean a decade. Or two.

Everyone has always known that server virtualization as implemented in a hypervisor, with entirely separate operating systems running inside virtual machine enclosures, was a stopgap measure designed to increase server utilization. physical and save on the IT budget.

But if you had to start from scratch, let’s be honest, we would have ignored the whole transformation of server virtualization – if it weren’t for the fact that two recessions – the dot-com bust from 2000 to 2002 and the Great Recession from 2008 to 2010 – Forced organizations around the world to find a way to stop wasting so much money on servers.

Containers are not a special application running on virtual machines. Virtual machines are a special type of container that runs on bare metal.

All the effort to streamline operating systems – remember the “just enough operating system” set of modes for Linux and Windows Server? – were a step in the right direction, but much better to stop having an operating system at all.

Even early container efforts in the Free BSD Jails and Solaris containers, which had a shared kernel and a collection of user sandboxes – were too much.

At one point, thanks to the advent of VMware ESXi, Xen from XenSource, Hyper-V from Microsoft, and KVM from Red Hat, server virtualization hypervisors and VM as a software distribution package became normal because it was relatively easy to explain and justify, although VMs are a bit heavy in terms of server overhead.

All of those monolithic applications running across the enterprise will have to die slowly before virtual machines and hypervisors disappear from the data center, and the container platform security model needs to improve as well.

But the direction for the future seems clear. A few years ago, when Docker and Kubernetes were gaining momentum, we thought of containers as a special type of applications running on virtual machines, but now we are starting to treat virtual machines as a special type of containers. running on bare metal.

New applications will be written in new ways and with new tools, and they will be containerized as this is the easiest way to get the benefits of the microservices approach that hyperscalers have proven to be the best. way of building and deploying software.

The minute every server has a data processing unit (DPU, aka SmartNIC) that can virtualize security, networking, and storage, a server processor becomes little more than a runtime environment. application. We could even go so far as to say that the server no longer or no longer needs an operating system and that everything we consider to be an operating system kernel except space user, will be in the DPU.

This is, in essence, what AWS has created with Nitro DPUs for its own servers. The fact that the public cloud then adds a KVM hypervisor to this DPU so that the server processor can be divided into instances for sale in the public cloud, running Linux or Windows Server, is completely arbitrary.

And useless in the fullness of time.

The server no longer has or no longer needs an operating system

Strange and unknown, isn’t it? But with Moore’s Law on its last legs, anything that further improves efficiency is needed.

And containers show us that running a large operating system on every piece of compute is far from efficient. ®

Vote below. We will close the ballot on Thursday evening and publish the final result on Friday. You can follow the progress of the debate here.

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