EMC and VMWare’s coming together with Cisco is an exercise in Utility. If we take Nick Carr’s analogy of comparing utility computing with the power-generation industry, what the VCE alliance could be said to be is an attempt to define a de-facto standard for the ‘compute unit’. An attempt even to define what voltage the cloud should run at.
This is not necessarily a bad thing and there will come a time when we do need a standard for the ‘compute unit’; even a de-facto unit isn’t necessarily a bad thing. De-facto standards happen all the time; the processor has almost become a de-facto standard in that of the Intel chip, the desk-top operating system standard is pretty much Windows (and this from a Linux/MacOS fan).
Around these ‘standards’; an industry has been built and thrives. And where there are standards in computing, there are dissenting voices and where there are dissenting voices, little industries spring and thrive in their niche.
But considering where we are in the development of cloud computing and especially, the infrastructure as a service play; arguably this is a bold and a very risky play. Much of what is being offered is at least behind the scenes, the proverbial swan; ‘graceful and elegant on the top, with little legs paddling like mad’. Perhaps this is why that this coming together is in the form of a services company? It’s just too hard for a currently over-worked IT department to make the technology play nice together?