The main market for virtualization is not desktop computers - it is servers. Rackspace for instance is really a business running virtual private servers.
Rackspace claim 99.99 percent availability - but it did stuff up once and upset Michell Maulkin and Justin Timberlake. That was a small failing (and I would not worry too much about either of those people being upset). But more to the point - the failing was less than 20 minutes.
We however at Bronte have a server (an old Dell box!) connected to the net via a DSL modem and the vagaries of Telstra (possibly the OECDs worst incumbent phone company). My business website is down. Worse - my @brontecapital.com (that is business) emails are bouncing...
The problem is - you guessed it - Telstra.
One advantage of a virtual server in the "cloud" is that it can be mirrored in jurisdictions other than my own and hence removes the Telstra risk. Telstra risk is a serious problem in Australia.
The cloud may be an online offer - but it is almost certainly a superior product. And to anybody whose email bounced... sorry.
Over time we will give up on in-house information technology and move entirely into the clouds.
And if you are a Hewlett Packard shareholder you should think that through. The cloud is ultimately cheaper, allows you to outsource (or remove) your IT staff and offers superior execution. That is wonderful for many - but for the incumbent midrange server maker having a competitor that is superior in every way looks - well - ugly.
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