These are the hot buzzwords of the last year or two, yes, but not without cause. Cloud is finally becoming real, albeit a bit differently than many envisioned a few years ago: the relative aggressiveness of public providers compared to most enterprises has created a functional chasm that small and midsize enterprises are unlikely, at this point, to try to fill—it’s easier to outsource many workloads.
The economic realities of the cloud marketplace dictate that service agility trumps almost everything else. Until very recently, this could be accomplished via tight (and expensive, and often lengthy) integration between the physical infrastructure and some sort of cloud management framework, most of which were retrofitted to deal with VMs. Generally the best way to make this work was rigorous standardization of the physical infrastructure.
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