The holy trinity of software appliance delivery: physical, virtual & cloud

It's not fair. I really wanted to call this story: Novell and IBM stop and collaborate, will you listen?

It's not fair. I really wanted to call this story: Novell and IBM stop and collaborate, will you listen? Y'know, a nice Vanilla Ice reference on a Friday, what more could you ask for? But such has been the regularity of the times I have read the three terms physical, virtual and cloud this week that I had to opt for the above.

First it was Sybase, yesterday's Developer Days event in London talked about these three environments as is they were some sort of holy trinity. Then today I managed to clear to my inbox from earlier in the week and noticed that IBM will deliver a portfolio of software powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

As software applications dive deeper into the virtual machine and become more regularly referred to as an 'appliance' rather than a 'program', IBM is keen to use the term to describe its use of the SUSE Appliance Programme and stress that the 'plug and play appliance' is now a reality.

Plug and play in physical, virtual or cloud environments of course.

Novell describes software appliances quite succinctly as, "Pre-configured combinations of an application, middleware and operating system integrated into a single image and tailored to run on industry-standard hardware."

The concept being that ISVs can now package so-called 'solutions' for physical, virtual or cloud environments, but in a more portable and bespoke way than previously.

IDC forecasts the software appliance market to grow to US$1.18 billion by 2012, so get used to the term.