A nice cloud summary in a whitepaper from Microsoft

Click here for a cost (among other things) comparison of the Microsoft Private Cloud proposal as compared to VMWare.

One does imagine after reading a document like this, a consolidated environment where a heterogeneous collection of environments can act as surrogate hosts for an abstracted version of an application service, through a homogeneous interface layer… but we’re still in the early days of development for something like that. In the real world ad-hoc private cloud software as a service providers are still bootstrapping a mixture of domain trusts, dns, vpn and clustering together to appear cloud consolidated, whilst driving the internal evolution ‘after the fact’. In other words, it’s nice how your product looks in the big picture, but can I implement it module by module until I arrive at it, whilst still maintaining high levels of service to my early adopters?

As always, if you’re critical about the information you absorb, there are some useful artefacts that you can mine from this – for instance, if you’re new to cloud offerings and Microsoft’s private cloud terminology, this might be enlightening. The inadvertent by-product of this sheet is that you’ll learn something about VMWare’s cloud product component model.