Gold at the end of the virtualization rainbow?

I have been thinking a lot about virtualization and emergent web based software recently, trying to put them into context together.

My suspicion is that virtualization is really just a transitionary technology that gets us over the open & concurrency hump rearing up in the technology road ahead of us.

It’s not that this hump poses a problem to everyone, many developers are well ahead and have been riding it’s crest for some time, building concurrent and or multi-tenant solutions that run natively on the internet.

But organizations of all sorts have a great deal invested in pre-hump technologies, a transition to post-hump is going to take time. In the interim, cloud vendors, shower us with their virtualization rainbows to lead us to the open native internet pot of gold on the other side.

So what is at the end of the rainbow? Although its difficult to see (primarily due to the cloud marketing fog obscuring it) one would imagine it looks a lot like the internet does now only bigger and better. That is it will be built around open standards like TCP/IP, http, html, xml, javascript, ajax and perhaps some newer emergent ones. We should also expect to see REST rather than WS* hairball, view source rather than binaries and most likely OpenSource rather than proprietary. Whatever is there, it will be used to build the new native internet software and services world post-hump.

What is fascinating is what happens to the current diversity of native web production which emerged from CGI grew up through LAMP evolving into the popular state of the art frameworks like RAILs, DJango and cornucopia of similar solutions in other languages. We already see emergent post-hump candidates like Google’s App Engine and Microsoft’s Azure tools + platform, can these succeed or will diversity rein, perhaps running on more diverse plays like Amazon’s AWS or a Eucalyptus fork. I personally have a difficult time imagining any single one of these dominating, I would expect diversity to continue but with some consolidation. I also have an inkling that something else is likely to emerge soon that changes the game around concurrency, something that makes it central to its architecture. In many ways it will be an anti virtualization force, it will also likely be a highly efficient development environment and solution consuming less and delivering much more bucking the historical trend to date, it really would be development gold!

What do you think might emerge, have you seen the signs yet, anyone got some clues to throw us?

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