If developers will not write “virtualization aware” applications, who will? The future of application development platforms may be at stake…

Right now developers are packaging up applications in virtual machines and deploying them. That’s according to, well, every survey you find related to virtualization and cloud computing. Joe McKendrick, citing the latest Evans Data Cloud Development Survey, noted that “sixty-one percent of 400 developers in Evans Data Corp’s recent Cloud Office NerdDevelopment Survey report that at least some of their IT resources will move to the public cloud within the next year.”

But even given the number of developers deploying applications in virtualized environments, internal and external, it’s probably true that they aren’t writing “virtualization aware” applications.

Why? Because “virtualization aware” applications require some specific development at the operating system/driver layers. Layers that very few developers ever touch, especially those who develop atop existing application “platforms” such as Java EE, Microsoft, a LAMP stack, or Ruby. Developers writing applications that target these environments rarely, if ever, write as low as even the TCP socket layer. Diving deeper into the operating system/driver layer is simply not something they’re likely to do. Yet the advantages of writing to these layers is higher efficiency of the application as well as increased performance, because it effectively bypasses the additional layers of abstraction introduced by virtualization technology.

Even if a developer wanted to write a virtualization aware application it’s unlikely they could. Application platform and deployment environments have abstracted development so far from the specific layers of the network stack that need to be virtualization aware that it’s quite impossible a developer could write such code and still have it deployable in traditional application platform environments.

So if developers won’t or can’t write virtualization aware applications, how can virtualization aware applications ever see the light of day?