No, virtualization is not required for SOA, but it may well become preferred for reducing TCO. Virtualization and SOA are separate but complementary. Whereas SOA is bringing value to the design time and governance of services, virtualization is bringing value principally to the runtime and operations side of the equation.
And while virtualization is probably the most important mega trend in the data center right now, SOA is a long-term mega trend as well in terms of development and deployment strategies. I expect enterprises to move aggressively toward virtualized environments. That environment provides a ton of benefits, but it also creates a whole set of new challenges around management. The same can be said of SOA. What may be advantageous for architects and operators is to cut short-term and medium-term costs using virtualization while helping to pay for the SOA advances that will create even greater medium-term to long-term reductions in total costs for IT.
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