Which of course are like Ogres. They’re big, chaotic, and have lots of layers of virtualization.

Peeled-onion-001

In discussions involving cloud it is often the case that someone will remind you that “virtualization” is not required to build a cloud. But that’s only partially true, as some layers of virtualization are, in fact, required to build out a cloud computing environment. It’s only “operating system” virtualization that is not required. Problem is unlike the term “cloud”, “virtualization” has come to be associated with a single, specific kind of virtualization; specifically, it’s almost exclusively used to refer to operating system virtualization, a la Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix. But many kinds of virtualization have existed for much longer than operating system virtualization, and many of them are used extensively in data centers both traditional and cloud-based. Like ogres, the chaotic nature of a dynamic data based on these types of virtualization can be difficult to manage.

Layer upon layer of virtualization within the data center, like the many layers of an onion, are enough to make you cry at the thought of how to control that volatility without sacrificing the flexibility and scalability introduced by the technologies. You can’t get rid of them, however, as some of these types of virtualization are absolutely necessary to the successful implementation of cloud computing. All of them complicate management and make more difficult the task of understanding how data gets from point A to point B within a cloud computing environment.