After sitting in a session today
at VMworld 2012, I was intrigued by how some companies over-complicate
things...then, I realized that their entire business model revolves
around complexity. IBM revealed parts of their methodology in consulting
companies that are managing the transition to cloud computing.
Ironically enough, the major component I could see that differentiated
the "clouds" they described from simpler virtual infrastructures was the
inclusion of a self-provisioning portal. Even for that, they gave it
several names worthy of acronyms like Service Management Automation, and
they touted it as an ITIL-based process in the cloud.
get me wrong, I have nothing against process, but it seems that we put
barriers in front of the cloud that don't necessarily need to be there
for most organizations. Most companies today already have the building
blocks of a properly functioning private cloud in place. It just takes
some modifications to existing management processes to go the last mile.
However, it is worth examining what the cloud service providers are
touting to see where the market may be going. IBM called out five
different types of clouds:
- Private Clouds - private data center, internally managed
- Managed Private Clouds - private data center, externally managed
- Hosted Private Clouds - external data center on dedicated hardware, externally managed
- Shared Clouds - external data center on shared hardware, externally managed
- Public Clouds - external data center, utility-based service
is pretty similar to the message we see coming from other cloud
leaders, like Rackspace (Amazon less so, as they're really only focused
on the public cloud). This leaves many asking if the cloud will replace
the IT department. I think the answer is that the cloud will not replace
the IT department entirely, but it will fundamentally change its
role...and this change is probably for the better. IT's role should
shift toward more planning and managing tasks and away from building and
running the hardware and infrastructure required. Greater levels of
automation shouldn't take IT jobs away, but should allow IT
professionals to focus their time on more value-added tasks. So, the
cloud is not something to be afraid of, but something to embrace as the
next wave in computing. A simple first step is to start with some simple
cloud monitoring software to gain insight into the performance and utilization of your virtual environment and start optimizing resources.
we've all figured out, the cloud can be whatever you want it to be (or
whatever some marketer wants to define it as), but it doesn't have to be
a dark, looming cloud. It could just be a welcome rain cloud that
causes some growth in the way that IT operates and allows us to be more
productive with the same resources!