At first blush, personal clouds can glance a lot like virtualization. but first looks can be deceiving. at the same time as it’s certainly real that we see virtualization control merchandise prolonged–as an example, with self-carrier portals–in ways that lead them to look superficially like clouds, we’re in point of fact talking about other classes of instrument.

There are ways to think about those variations. the first is in relation to different mindsets and strategies to IT operations. the other is to imagine specific options and functions.

Consider the “big picture” aspect first. Mary Johnston Turner, research vice president of enterprise system management software, at market researcher IDC contrasted virtualization and cloud at the IDC Directions conference last year. She described virtualization as providing the “underpinning for cloud” while she described cloud as going “beyond virtualization to focus on services and consumption.”

What does this mean exactly? In their book Visible Ops: Private Cloud, Andi Mann, Kurt Milne, and Jeanne Morain write that it’s a “shift from framing virtualization expansion goals based on footprint and consolidation metrics to offering business-optimized services. Services that meet user needs will drive adoption. Widespread adoption is critical to driving cloud economics.”

This is completed by designing a catalog of standardized services–recall to mind them as application or building environments–and offering them to shoppers, similar to developers, thru a low-contact self-service interface. access to these services is managed by means of coverage, as is the runtime control (such as patching) of these environments after they’re deployed.

Virtualization management, and the ecosystem of third-party management products and add-ons that have grown up around virtualization over time, certainly bring a degree of order and process to virtualized environments. Their goal is to reduce what is sometimes called “VM sprawl” resulting from proliferating unmanaged virtual machines. However, I’d argue that policy, lifecycle management, and standardized workflows are more fundamentally baked into cloud solutions.

Furtherextra, cloud answers that perform independently of the underlying virtualization layer can span hypervisors and different structures comparable to public clouds. this permits management and coverage to be prolonged over a more heterogeneous set of instruments.

At IDC Directions, Turner also showed data on the adoption of “critical cloud management building blocks” that reflected “the percentage of IT decision makers reporting their organization is/plans widespread or selective production use of all technology.”

Unsurprisingly, virtualization management was the most typical current or deliberate generation. It used to be present to a point in about 70 percent of circumstances with modest (a few percent) growth in penetration forecast via 2012. Automation/orchestration and self-service portals were the next most not unusual building blocks, rising from about forty percent of organizations to over 50 %. Service management/service catalogs got here subsequent; finish-to-end efficiency/availability control and consumption metering came last when it comes to adoption with handiest approximately 30 % expecting metering even by way of 2013.

This data is consistent with my observations. A certain amount of automation and self-service can be put in place to augment virtualization but it’s with service management and catalogs that IT operations really begin looking like a cloud provider to their internal consumers. This is the point where we stop thinking so much in terms of managing servers and more in terms of operating IT-as-a-service.

It’s also been my observation that public cloud-like charge-back and “showback,” while of considerable interest to some organizations, potentially represents a big change in the way that the Lines-of-Business pay for IT. Organizational changes like this happen rather quickly and it may never fit with the way some companies want to do internal accounting. Therefore, I don’t find it surprising that adoption rate is likely to trail.

Virtualization control answers will proceed to add features over the years. And those will incessantly overlap with what personal clouds do on an individual characteristic basis. on the other hand, having a look at both the underlying method to IT in the big picture and management functions within the mixture draw a pretty transparent distinction among virtualization and cloud.