The benefits of automation and orchestration do not come solely from virtualization.

vitameatavegaminVirtualization has benefits, there is no arguing that. But let’s not get carried away and attribute all the benefits associated with cloud computing and automation to one member of the “game changing” team: virtualization. I recently read one of the all-too-common end-of-year prediction blogs on virtualization and 2010 that managed to say with what I think was a straight face that virtualization of the network is what makes it “fluid”.

From: 2010 Virtualization Predictions - The Year the Network Becomes Fluid and Virtual

blockquote Virtualizing the network provides the similar benefits as server virtualization through abstraction and automation … The bottom line: In 2010, the network is going to become as fluid and dynamic as the data center is today.

The first problem with these statements is the separation of the network from the data center. The last time I checked the network was the core foundation upon which data centers are built, making them not only a part of the data center but an integral part of it. The second is implying that the automation from which a fluid network is derived is somehow achieved through virtualization. No. No, it isn’t. Both virtual and physical infrastructure require more than just being shoved into a virtual machine or automatically provisioned to enable the kind of benefits expected.