Whether they admit it or not, the emergence of public cloud providers has
dramatically altered the playing field for hardware vendors of every type.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) and its competitors opened Pandora's box by
introducing the world to a completely programmatic, scalable, evolving, and
pay-as-you-go way to procure and utilize network, compute and storage
resources on a global scale. They have disrupted many layers of the
technology industry from the applications being written to the way companies
interact with the infrastructure being used to support those applications.
Nowhere is this disruption easier to see than in the virtualization
ecosystem. For the better part of the last decade, hypervisor companies like
VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and Red Hat worked hand-in-hand with hardware
manufacturers like Cisco, NetApp, EMC, HP and Dell to define both the