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Internal cloud has emerged as a new buzz term for what, in the past, was called internal utility infrastructure (see sidebar). Underlying infrastructure for a so-called internal cloud includes industry standard servers, networked storage, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet abstracted by virtualization software such as VMware’s vSphere. Increasingly, these will be sold as integrated products.
Technology vendors have seized on these elements as underlying the data centers of the future. Cisco, for example, has its Unified Computing System which includes Cisco network gear and, for the first time, Cisco branded blade servers. HP has its Bladesystem Matrix which includes its HP blade servers, Procurve network gear, and HP StorageWorks storage.