For some businesses, virtualisation is not a necessary prerequisite for a move into the cloud, VMware said on Wednesday. For those with legacy IT, it is nevertheless the "only way", according to VMware's regional head for the UK and Ireland, Mark Newton.
"If you're a new business today or you've got a new line of business that you're setting up and you can bring those services in from the cloud, such as Software-as-a-Service, it's a logical thing to do. Why invest in any form of fixed asset that you've got to bring in and configure yourself when you can get that service externally? For new stuff, most definitely, take a look at what's out there," Newton told ZDNet UK at IP Expo in London on Wednesday.
However, Newton believes that the majority of businesses with legacy IT will transition into the crowd via virtualisation.
"When you then look at all your existing applications, the challenge you have got there is to run them in as low a cost environment as possible and deliver a highest possible quality of service, which is a cloud type model. The only way to do that with your legacy applications right now is to virtualise: that is your only route to doing that. It is the starting point," he said.
The strapline for the company's recent European conference, VMworld 2010, was "Virtual Roads. Actual Clouds." As a company, VMware believes that there are three key stages of virtualisation, and by migrating more and more applications into a virtualised environment, a business can progress to a cloudy virtualisation model.
Nonetheless, as much as VMware would like to see legacy IT companies transition to a pure cloud model, there will always be certain technologies that remain un-virtualisable. Newton believes that "there's always going to be the odd bit of technology that can't be virtualised, but it's typically an incredibly small percentage".