Computing has moved away from organizing storage in the form of dedicated on-premise vertical stacks to dynamic virtual pools in the Cloud. This trend gained momentum in 2004-05 when storage virtualization concepts hit the market and a number of virtualization applications were made available for desktops and servers.
At present, there is an effort to move other types of applications to this virtualized world and to use SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) to acquire more agility, efficiency and elasticity of resources at lower costs. The computing market place is no longer the same. It is evident that most organizations are making the private Cloud their highest priority and seriously mixing and matching technologies to create virtualized data centres that are optimized on performance, scalable on demand and highly available.
The direction of development is not surprising. Organizations are growing in size and complexity with globalization. Distributed computing and mobility are making demands on the computing infrastructure. Data volumes are increasing and data management needs are becoming complex. Organizations are burdened with big data that must be analyzed and used efficiently, creatively for business gains. They are driven to technology and must ensure that they can get the technology working for them. Server virtualization technologies and a whole host of emerging technologies are being used to create the computing environment they need.
From the marketing standpoint, Cloud service providers are coming together with their supply chains and complementary product developers to create a single management window for virtualized services. The storage, network, server, hypervisor and application layers are integrated and meshed together to offer the end user with a single product that is almost plug and play. This has resulted in a deep technology alignment and a shared Cloud vision. The technology is powered by a powerful ecosystem created by the vendors. The product is validated for optimum performance. Users have choice without complexity. It fits in comfortably with existing architectures and hardware / software. Routes to the market are integrated. Competition is intense. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and guarantees are enforced by the market. Support services are honed up to differentiate between available services and attract customers to try out their services.
On the whole, customers are happy with this scenario and are ready to welcome and try out the many to many virtualization and server consolidation architectures that are emerging to cater to their varied needs.