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Cloud vs Virtualisation

Companies are becoming increasingly dependent on the cloud. But will this kill virtualisation?

Many companies, which are turning to cloud computing, will find the need to manage their cloud space becoming more important. Most of these companies rely on both public and private clouds. The impact in India could be higher than in developed countries, if one goes by a research study conducted by IDC in November 2011. According to the study, less than half of end-users across Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) will complete their private cloud projects by 2014. The respondents of the IDC survey felt this was because of lack of experience in building these systems and because of higher-than-expected upfront investment requirements. IDC says that consequently an increased number of enterprises will make a detour to public cloud services. This, in turn, will result in the management of the hybrid cloud being more pronounced in countries like India.EW30_CLOUD1_906387f

Systems management has traditionally been undertaken by companies like IBM, HP and Hitachi, said Praveen Bhadada, Engagement Manager, Zinnov. “The offering from Microsoft is specifically around the cloud environments where it will provide automation functionalities in virtualised environments. As the data centre and private cloud environments grow, this might see a significant uptake.”

Sanchit Vir Gogia, Senior Analyst, Forrester, did not want to directly comment on any of the players, but instead tried to illustrate the importance of management solutions through an example. “Consider a telecom operator who has thousands of apps, some on the public cloud, some on a virtual private cloud, some on an on-site private cloud, and some in a physical environment because you need responses in the range of 12-15 milliseconds. How do you manage this well? Cloud and data centre management solutions are critical because they help you manage different cloud environments.”

In conversation

The growth of cloud computing raises an interesting question. Will it end up killing virtualisation? After all, virtualisation tells you to replace 30 servers with three, while cloud computing tells you to get rid of servers altogether. Virtualisation being the first step to cloud computing, this naturally pits Microsoft in a head-on collision with virtualisation company VMware, but Carl Eschenbach, Co-President, Customer Operations, VMware, played down the threats. “We are agnostic to the operating system and support both Linux and Windows. If you are running only Microsoft, it (System Centre) may be a good solution. The maturity of our products still gives us an advantage.” In an interaction with eWorld, Eschenbach tells us more on why virtualisation is critical for cloud computing. :

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