Online bank ING Direct has shifted its entire infrastructure to a private cloud. That's an impressive move (and the first time a local bank has done it), but the real measure of its usefulness won't be apparent until new applications start being deployed on it.
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One of the often-hyped advantages of the cloud is the speed with which you can deploy a new service. In theory, you can whack down your credit card details and instantly have something working. But in reality, any full-scale shift to the cloud is going to require a planning process that takes months, if not years.
It seems obvious that virtualisation should offer the potential to save on licensing costs, but how does that actually work out in practice? The example of ING Bank provides some answers, and also demonstrates how private cloud deployments, virtualisation and improved disaster recovery often operate hand in hand.