Today in Cloud

A short piece in Computing caught my eye, discussing efforts by Birmingham Airport in the UK to virtualize their existing IT infrastructure. “Birmingham Airport never wants to buy another server following virtualisation project,” screamed the headline. “What a stupid thing to say,” thought I, quickly spotting that even virtualized servers run on physical hardware that has to be replaced at some point. However, the truth is more interesting. The airport has moved from a traditional infrastructure with around 5% utilization to a virtualized environment on top of VMware. According to the airport’s Wayne Smith, this virtualized solution is simply a stepping stone, and moving forward he (currently) intends to migrate individual applications to the cloud. Maybe the headline was right, and Birmingham Airport won’t need to buy another server. Virtualization may give them the confidence to take that step, but it’s migration to the cloud that will deliver their vision.