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Virtualization is the Cloud

…and so is elastic scalability, metered billing, resource pooling, hardware abstraction and many other concepts.

For me there is too much discussion over what a cloud should and should not be.

“Cloud is not virtualization” sounds like a billboard on the US101 in Silicon valley. Wait! It is a billboard on the 101 thanks to Microsoft.

Can’t we be inclusive. Can’t everyone just get along :)

It is after all, predominantly marketing term that has attached some defacto guiding principles. Not a standard to be defined. You cannot be a zealot in the definition.

There are so many blog posts (and here) trying to define the cloud with a different spin, and trying to define its economics. Haven’t we done this to death? I know the biggest barrier to cloud architecture adoption is knowledge, but the information is out there already, adding more information just makes it confusing.

I think there should be more focus on the application and not the cloud. Having scalable infrastructure very rarely results in scalable workload, in fact, the opposite. It reveals the real problems, architecturally and technically within an application. In addition, infrastructure utilization/latency does not necessarily determine the trigger for scale management. Self-service is only valuable to a cross-section of organizations, but speed of provisioning is much more widely needed. Metered usage makes less sense to many companies, but elasticity is of great value.

Shift the focus on how to make use of it, not its definition. How do you determine what applications should be deployed in a cloud based architecture, and what level of “cloudiness” you need to deliver business value. Remember, there is no way you are getting a project approved to spend any money without some link to business value.

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Brad Vaughan is a twenty year veteran consultant working with companies around the globe to transform technology infrastructure to deliver enhanced business services.