First-off, IBM and Juniper made an interesting joint announcement, replete with demo. Very nice coverage from ZDNet, TechCrunchIT and InfoWorld - which, BTW, has a great description of their demo.
But note that in all of the IBM/Juniper coverage, there is little-to-no mention of the word "virtualization". That's very telling. It means that much of what will makes clouds (and Cloud "overflow" as they put it) work is part of the network, I/O and compute management infrastructure. i.e. it's *not* just about the VM/hypervisor. Which brings me to observation #2:
Last month, Cisco's CTO Padmasree Warrior had a widely-viewed blog about their upcoming product/strategy around "unified computing". Today, Cisco agressively followed-through with an update/elaboration on that blog with yet another blog/video featuring Ms. Warrior. In it, she elaborated on their "unified computing" vision, including their view on the phases that cloud computing will take. It's very telling re: where Cisco's strategy is likely to be focused:
Unified computing, as Cisco refers to it, is what we here at Egenera call "infrastructure orchestration" -- essentially it is about abstracting-away the I/O, network, storage and compute elements. In that way, they can become an instantly-configurable "fabric" where resources can be deployed, failed-over, scaled, etc., without having to manage any physical components at all. And all of this is *agnostic* to whether the SW payload is physical or virtual.
Phase 1 for instance lays the foundation for data center cost containment through standardization. Core to this foundation is consistently applied network intelligence and virtualization in each area of specialization: local and wide area networking, storage networking and server/application networking.
Phase 2, or ‘Unified Fabric’ – This phase optimizes and extends data center technologies through consolidation of virtualization across the network, storage and servers/applications.
Phase 3, or ‘Unified Computing’ – Unified Computing virtualizes the entire data center through a pre-integrated architecture that brings together network, server and compute virtualization. Moving beyond that…
Phase 4, or ‘Private Clouds’—is a phase that extends the advantages of unified computing into the cloud, bringing enterprise-class security, control and interoperability to today’s stand-alone cloud architectures.
Phase 5, which is the ultimate vision of ‘inter-cloud’ marks our long-term transition with the market, by enabling portable workloads across the cloud. This will drive a new wave of innovation and investment similar to what we last saw with the Internet explosion of the mid-1990s.
All-in all, I bet we'll be seeing MUCH more noise in the market about Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Infrastructure Orchestration, and how these foundations will help accelerate creation of "internal" clouds, public clouds, and bridges between these entities.