If you’re just trading “specialized” hardware for “dedicated” hardware you’re losing more than you’re gaining. 

Apparently I have not gotten the memo detailing why specialized hardware is a Very Bad Thing(TM) . I’ve looked for it, I really have, but I cannot find it anywhere. What I did find was any number of random press releases announcing how “virtual version X” of some network or application infrastructure solution was now virtualized and hey, you don’t specialized hardware to run it. These random press releases neglect, I might add, to mention that there's very little difference between the requirement for "specialized hardware" and "dedicated hardware" in terms of cost of ownership, maintenance, and operational costs.

But Lori, you say, incredulous that I am apparently in so much denial I can’t see that the beauty of virtual infrastructure is that there is no longer a need for dedicated hardware.

Hogwash and horsepuckey, I say. Apparently I’m not the one in denial.