Re: Commodity Hardware
I agree with you - that's the way it has been. I'm just in the midst of writing a story based on our private cloud survey - the last of which was done 20 months ago. We asked about key vendors then and asked the same question now. All of the software vendors (VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, OpenStack, even Oracle) were cited more frequently as key vendors, and the hardware vendors were cited less frequently.
I think there's a sea change at hand, and it's becoming no longer the case that choice of hardware is critical. My guess is that viewing hardware as such a key choice is a vestige of scale up thinking in a scale out world.