Why the Operating System Matters

In IT today, we love to note that the infrastructure layer has become commoditized. This started with virtualization, as we could create many virtual machines within a single physical machine. Cloud has taken us further with a key value proposition of delivering cloud services on any standard server or virtualized environment, enabling easier scalability and faster service delivery, among other benefits.

This commoditization argument has moved to the infrastructure software layer, with some conjecturing that the operating system running on top of hardware, hypervisor or container is also easily exchangeable. This is especially true with open source OSes. Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS and the many other flavors of community Linux are sometimes seen as interchangeable. This particularly has been an argument in the OpenStack community.

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