The internal cloud – a term increasingly used by datacenter infrastructure vendors – is only the most recent name for a converged utility infrastructure. Understanding private cloud infrastructure as a kind of birthday cake, with hardware layers and virtualization icing, is critical to evaluating emerging server, storage, network, and virtualization offerings. Technology vendors have seized on these elements as underlying the datacenters of the future. Increasingly they will be aiming to sell the whole cake rather than the discrete layers. IT infrastructure decision makers will increasingly have to consider the whole cake in making product selections. IT will no longer be able to compartmentalize datacenter infrastructure management, or vendor relationships, into neat categories like servers, storage and network.

This note explains the “cake” of cloud infrastructure and also takes a brief look at the key vendors including Cisco, IBM, HP, and Dell/Egenera

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