This morning I’ve been reading from an article about virtualization not being a universal panacea. I do have to disagree some with Steve though. In this post, I’ll be talking about this from the standpoint of an IaaS cloud computing provider, but this should mostly be applicable to non-cloud virtualization as well.
Any application can benefit from a move to a cloud computing environment, whether that move improves performance or functionality of the application. Reduced complexity for the customer and disaster avoidance (quickly and seamlessly move virtual machines out of a data center threatened by natural disaster, for instance) should make this a no-brainer right from the go. What prevents this from happening more often than not are businesses that aren’t feeling enough pain around it to do anything until after the worst happens.
Far from being bad candidates for virtualizing, abandoned apps, obsolete apps, obsolete and oddball operating systems, and apps running on orphaned hardware are all prime candidates for cloud computing. It isn’t generally the application software or the OS itself that eventually kills these apps, it’s the failure of irreplaceable hardware that drives the nail in the coffin.
Big cloud computing providers typically have a limited range of the more common operating systems available as virtual machine images but smaller cloud computing providers can usually supply a solution for almost any OS that can still be found on the net (and most of them can). From the standpoint of non-x86 antiquated hardware, many old platforms can be found as very good emulators now. This means that the OS can either be run directly in a virtual machine (for x86 hardware) or on top of an emulator in a virtual machine (for non-x86 hardware).
So now, many of these orphaned applications can take advantage of cloud computing without having to become “kill” applications. If the software is still performing a useful job, put it on a cloud and and dump the caveman hardware.
Email or call me or visit the SwiftWater Telecom web site for cloud computing services (give m a challenge, nothing is too weird to cloud!)!