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Microsoft Virtualization Secrets by John Savill

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Understanding Data Virtualization Technologies at Home

When I talk about data virtualization, the key principle is separation of the data’s physical storage from how and where it can be accessed. Data virtualization enables ongoing access to the data.

The line between work life and private life has blurred considerably because the way people work has changed. It is now common to have corporate data at home on noncorporate devices. Likewise, users want to be able to access important personal data across the multiple devices they own, as well as on devices they access but do not own. To demonstrate the best way to make data “always available,” I want to first explore how Windows actually stores user data.

Examining How Windows Organizes User Data

This separation of the data’s physical path from how it is perceived and manipulated is precisely what is meant by virtualization of data.

Windows 7 tries to guide users toward an efficient organization of data through its Libraries feature, which, in a default installation, provides folders for Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. If you install the Zune application, a Podcasts library is also created; install Windows Virtual PC and a Virtual Machines library is created. Think of a library as a way to organize your data into easy to use collections and eliminate the need to know where the data is physically stored. A library consists of a number of folders whose contents it displays for browsing; and more important, it indexes that ...

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