Cloud computing is the single most important buzzword currently flying around the Internet. If you listen to the hype, it seems that cloud computing is supposed to represent the end-all, be-all computing solution for companies. But an interesting confluence of ideas is happening – virtualization is started to encroach on the cloud.
As defined by NIST, a cloud needs to have self-service capabilities, support for multi-tenancy and dynamic orchestration, all across two or more data servers. Anything not meeting these criteria, no matter how well it runs, cannot be considered a cloud.
The trouble lies in the fact that many businesses are not comfortable with the cloud as defined by NIST, and would prefer a solution that is actually a form of virtualization. Board directors and IT managers are looking to see an increase in computing options along with decreased cost, and there is evidence to suggest that many providers are hasty to name anything that runs on shared infrastructure a “cloud”, in the hopes that “private clouds” can be spawned, and then tweaked to come in line with the NIST cloud model.
From the perspective of companies like Dell, which offers cloud solutions such as Dell Virtual Integrated Systems and the PowerEdge C series, this naming of virtualization as clouds is actually slowing down innovation in the industry.
Their PowerEdge C series is meant for companies that are pushing the edge of virtual boundaries; something that they say can’t happen if the industry is not willing to call what is a cloud a cloud and ensure that virtualization, while useful, is always regarded as such.
The cloud represents great possibility in the IT industry, and for Dell and others on the market forefront, standing still doesn’t make sense.