I was reading over at the TIBCOmmunity site regarding the impact of virtualisation on architecture
( http://www.tibcommunity.com/blogs/soa-architecture/2009/07/24/virtualization-and-its-affect-on-architecture ). There's some handy information here, but it feels a bit lost under a heading of "SOA architecture"; so I thought I'd have a go, under the heading of "I think...".
Virtualisation is the capability to encapsulate arbitrarily complex environments (by adding yet another layer of abstraction, naturally). Virtualisation is a means of utilising commodity hardware in ways that were previously the preserve of esoteric, expensive, proprietary systems.
What does this mean in the context of SOA?
I think the eventual result is that services can/will be built as software appliances. The moves around OSGi are heading in this direction, allowing a more 'focussed' environment to be built. I'll expand on my view of a software appliance life cycle in a later post.
I do believe that the eventual goal around a SOA (at a technical level) should be something like an AMI virtual machine (the lingua franca of the cloud), with defined "production", and management, services. This could/should be hosted in some cloud (public/private), or combination of clouds. The services/VMs may depend on other defined services (provided in a SaaS, or other, manner). Some overarching management environment will be required to manage the relationships between services (and I believe that this is where VMware is heading, fast).