Is vCloud the answer to "Does IT Matter"
Whilst I was in the USA for VMworld I purchased all of the books I had added to my Amazon wish list. Shipping costs to Australia are not cheap, compared to within the states anyways.
One of the books I had on the list was "Does IT Matter" by Nicholas G. Carr. It is an interesting book which works through the idea of how much actual competitive advantage IT investment brings to a company.
One of the observations in the book was very relevant to what I was seeing in the VMware vCloud announcement.
What's required for grid computing to take hold on a broader scale is a new layer of software for coordinating all the connected pieces of hardware and a simple interface that hides the network's complexities from users, just as the original Macintosh's graphical interface hid the cumbersome workings of the PC. Many of the major IT vendors, including Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, are working feverishly to construct the required software, hoping they'll be able to spur the spread of grid computing and ultimately profit from it. Should they succeed, the perfection of the grid would mark the final step in the commoditization of computer hardware, rendering all equipment indistinguishable to users. The physical IT infrastructure would be complete-and largely invisible. (Page 41)
This requirement for the wide spread adoption of grid computing that Carr puts forward certainly aligns with the pitch that VMware is making in regards to VDS-OS. Given what they have already done with data center virtualization its likely that may be able to pull it off. Considering the book was written in 2004 we have come a long way in a few years.