Dear Reader: In the spirit of National Poetry Month, this Fool has been including poetry snippets in every story, all April long. But that's not enough. Every year, Anders goes completely overboard with prosody exactly once. This article on what virtualization is, who does it best, and how you can profit from it, is written as three Shakespearean sonnets. Lucky you!

When budgets squeeze and strangle IT spend
Most tech providers see their net sales shrink.
Lo! Server builders suffer from that trend
And enterprise-type software too, I think.
So Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and lovely Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) take pains
To soften every impact of their woes;
Lest fell investors should from buying shrink
And step with steel-clad heels on spendthrift toes.
This deep recession must, one fine day, end
Restoring former giants' peaks of old;
But until then, these businesses will spend
Much effort draping sour words in gold.
            No shame in spinning softer songs 'round truth
            When times are hard, like dulling an achy tooth.

Yet some would thrive on budget cuts and scares;
They are solutions to the problems faced.
See how it works for constant VMware (NYSE:VMW)
Which offers lower costs with each replaced
Big, bulky box of hardware, fixed in place.
The VMware solution breaks them down
In manageable pieces. In the space
Where single-server platforms once would frown,
Now sings a happy choir -- like a cloud --
Of virtual machines: A mighty mass
To rearrange, reallocate un-cowed
To fit the task at hand; no more -- no less.
            The very likeness of efficient cash
            That virtual investment makes a splash!

For us investors, outside looking in,
Technology like this presents a chance
To float in early on the brand new wind
And make some money in this grand old dance.
Both Microsoft and VMware do sell
Their virtual machines to great effect.
And Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) rides along as well;
Though small and open, Xen demands respect.
Yet VMware shall rise above the rest;
A leader, mighty focused on this niche.
A dollar spent on this stock stands the test
Of time as hardware makes the virtual switch.
            The trick is finding those tools that will save
            Both time and money when the outlook's grave!

Further Foolishness for the discerning investor:

Dell and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. VMware is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, yet he wanders lonely as a cloud-computing data center. Anders suggests reading the verse without ticker symbols and exchanges, to properly honor National Poetry Month. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.