In his article on MIT’s Emerging Technology conference, Kevin Fogarty writes,
in the CIO
Magazine, about people who have invested heavily on Virtualization,
The good news is that virtualization will become a critical part of an even
larger part of most IT infrastructures as time goes on.
The bad news is that it will do so as part of a larger movement toward cloud
computing and will, in large part, disappear as a separate
This is a very astute observation. After cloud computing took over as the
main buzzword in the industry, virtualization, as a separate discipline, is
slowly losing steam. Before someone pounces on me, I want to emphasize that I am
not claiming that virtualization is losing steam (which is actually getting
hotter and hotter) but I am arguing that virtualization as a separate discipline
is becoming redundant.
In fact, virtualization, along with few other technological advances, is the
one that actually unlocks cloud computing and changes the way IT is done in the
industry. It has also shaped the way consumers consume computing power. This
makes virtualization part and parcel of cloud computing paradigm and any
attempts to consider it as a separate discipline is unnecessary and
To emphasize this point, I will quote John Willis
As flour is to a cookie, virtualization is to a cloud.
Virtualization has played a major role in accelerating the evolution of computing from its original
Client-Server and, then, ASP days to the current Cloud Computing days. As John
says, it is the secret sauce behind the the new wave that is sweeping the
industry. As we move further, the distinction between the underlying
virtualization technology and the cloud computing paradigm is going to blur more
and more. Actually, it just doesn’t make any sense any more to consider it as a
Just as I finished this post and saved it for publication, I came across an analysis that discussed about the Gartner Symposium
different things: a broader use that focuses on ‘cloud,’ and a
more-focused use on system infrastructure and virtualization,” said
David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “Mixing the
discussion of ‘cloud-enabling technologies’ with ‘cloud computing
services’ creates confusion.”
This is a completely wrong approach. Distinguishing between the end product and the underlying technology will lead to more confusion among people. Such a distinction will lead people to think that cloud computing and virtualization are two competing technologies offering different set of features. If we are worried about removing the confusion in the minds of users, it is very important to integrate both the terms under one umbrella. Forking further will do more harm than good.
What is your opinion on this? Do you feel that the distinction is important and if so, what is the underlying argument for it? Feel free to share your thoughts on this ongoing debate.
Thanks Celina for sending the link to Gartner analysis just in time for this post.