Today in Cloud

I wrote last week about the brewing battle among chipmakers to win cloud-provider and web-company dollars, but this week reminds me that when it comes to cloud computing, the same battle is going on within corporate data centers. Despite the fact that most internal-cloud vendors sell software, chip- and server-makers are trying their damnedest to market themselves as essential building blocks for the cloud deployments (currently, this pitch is strongest by Intel, and the myriad vendors, like Fujitsu, releasing¬† servers based on Intel’s new Xeon processors). It’s still about commodity, but it’s also about cloud-customization. So, I ask, is special hardware becoming as critical to optimal cloud efforts as is the right software?