Virtual data centers and cloud computing models share and use resources, software and information delivered via the Internet to servers, computers and other connected devices.
With the use of cloud computing, users can avoid the fixed capital expenditures associated with hardware, software and services by paying a provider for only the resources or services consumed. And these days, that’s pretty good news.
As cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) become viable options for businesses worldwide, says a white paper from enterprise software vendors NEI (News - Alert), they’ll need “a scalable platform for deploying cloud-ready applications.”
Gartner (News - Alert) statistics cited by NEI officials estimate that the cloud computing market will grow to $126 billion by 2012 and up to $150 billion in 2013. This growth, NEI officials say, “will stress many software developers who seek a reliable platform technology to help them succeed. Appliance platforms offer software vendors a great way to deploy their applications as either physical, virtual or hybrid for private, public and mixed environments.”
And as company officials say, “It’s important to note that the principal difference between a software and hardware appliance deployment is resource sharing versus dedicated hardware. A hardware appliance uses fixed processing, memory and storage capacity -- all tuned
to the tool’s requirements.”
A virtual appliance, by contrast, “operates in an environment where processing, memory and
storage are shared resources. This can introduce I/O latency and other performance-related issues if the virtual data center or cloud structure does not have timely access to necessary compute resources.”
What this means, company officials say, is that designing and building an appliance that is versatile enough for both physical and virtual appliances “can easily be achieved by analyzing the various options and making choices based on the application and market needs.”