A good article here in Information Age highlights the ways in which advanced software architectures like SOA and Web 2.0 are producing changes in the underlying physical infrastructure of most enterprises.
The emerging concept of the Service Oriented Infrastructure (SOI) and the Real-Time Infrastructure (RTA) calls for a flexible platform of intelligent devices that can be reconfigured, or even reconfigure themselves, on a moment's notice.
Much of the technology needed to create this type of dynamic networking is already available. Tools like virtualization, consolidation, systems integration and automation are common fixtures of many environments. However, system architects are only beginning to understand how they can be used in tandem to produce the next-generation framework.
A handful of vendors are already on the way toward providing these "resource-on-demand" types of platforms. Check out IBM's Blue Cloud service, as well as the Elastic Computer Cloud from Amazon and similar approaches from Saavis, BT and Google.
Now that virtualization is becoming commoditized, SOIs could be the next big thing in enterprise computing.