I've been meaning to comment on a post by Kelly Herrell, CEO of Vyatta, in which he was responding to a comment that it would be great if Cisco made it possible for the functions offered by their network servers to be encapsulated in a virtual machine. This would mean that those functions could be automated and optimized just like any other workload the virtualized environment.
Kelly, of course, is pointing out one of the benefits of the technology developed by the Vyatta open source community and made broadly available by his company. It can be put into a virtual machine and that virtual machine can be supported on nearly any industry standard system that meets the minimum requirements for the function. So, it isn't necessary to purchase special purpose systems that can be used only for a single set of tasks.
I always enjoy Kelly's tongue-in-cheek humor and direct approach to addressing a question. You might enjoy it too.