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SolarWinds 2013 Predictions: If the Mayans are Wrong, Here's What 2013 will Hold for Virtualization

VMblog Predictions

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2013.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Bertrand Hazard, Senior Director, Market Strategist, SolarWinds

If the Mayans are Wrong, Here's What 2013 will Hold for Virtualization

In 2013, it will be important for IT professionals to continue to define their roles. 2013's changes will be evolutionary instead of revolutionary, as they've been in recent years. We'll see the pace of conversion from client-server architecture to cloud-based architecture. IT professionals can no longer ignore the capabilities of externally hosted SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS solutions and must begin to build their skills around the cloud. Just as virtualization brought us abstraction of physical resources, the cloud is introducing abstraction of the entire data center.

IT professionals will need to build their capabilities and their organizations around an "IT as a broker" model, in which internal IT pros at the organizational level will consult with business units to determine the best, most cost-effective deployment and administration models for new and existing applications. This means that IT must be versed in the long-term effects of moving to specific cloud platforms.

The following are a few specific things we believe the IT professional should do to remain relevant in 2013 and in the future:

Get acquainted with "software-defined" EVERYTHING. We're all a little bit fatigued at the over-use of the term "cloud." So VMware started leading the charge to redefine terms a bit to get us to take baby steps toward software-defined data centers. This essentially means that the future is filled with lots of software-based abstraction from physical devices. Sure, those physical devices will remain somewhere, but the locations are becoming a lot less important. IT professionals now need to build their skillsets more around managing resources via software interfaces.  This is really not a major departure from the way things have been for the last several years with the rampant use of virtualization. We'll just see it become pervasive across other areas of the data center where it hasn't already become mainstream.

Understand how to address security issues. Security issues aren't just for highly-specialized security analysts anymore. Security should be part of every IT professional's job. Building an understanding of the security implications of different deployment scenarios is critical to good application deployment. In most cases, deployment of a dedicated solution in an internally-owned data center is the most secure option, but major strides are being made toward enhanced security in multi-tenant environments. With a number of hosted private cloud options appearing from the likes of Rackspace, HP, and IBM, it's good to understand the difference between each type of private, public, and hybrid deployment models and how they will fit users' applications' security requirements.

Security can also be enhanced just by deploying some simple tools that correlate system logs and events to uncover security breaches in real time. Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) tools with pre-configured rules to help identify problems, as well as a library of active responses that allow users to react to issues in real time thus speeding a user's response to threats to IT security, will be a huge help to the IT generalist.

Enhance your use of virtualization. We're carrying this prediction over from our 2012 predictions because we think it will just continue to grow! The existence of a virtual infrastructure is table stakes in 2013. It's what you can do with virtualization that counts. So, we'll see a renewed focus on efficient management of virtual environments in 2013. The newness of VMware deployments has started to wear off, and now the objective is to manage it well or even to extend it to places like desktops where we haven't used virtualization before. 2013 will see a big acceleration in the use of advanced virtualization management tools to make virtual environments more cloud-like. This will include acceleration in deployments of auto-provisioning tools that allow certain users to create and delete their own virtual machines. Some of the same environments will increase the use of virtualization chargeback that creates a utility billing capability for departments consuming IT resources.

Most importantly, though, IT professionals must efficiently utilize their virtual environments. IT budgets are not growing as fast as the need for resources. Therefore, virtual infrastructure must be streamlined and resources should be re-provisioned to applications that need them most. Most good Virtualization Management and Storage Resource Management tools provide professionals with everything they need to manage VMware and Hyper-V environments well.

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About the Author

Bertrand Hazard is the market strategy lead for the systems management product portfolios at SolarWinds. He has more than a decade of experience devising and executing sales and marketing strategies in the software industry. Bertrand earned a Bachelor's degree in International Business studies from Middlesex University and his Product Management & Marketing Programs Certification from Pragmatic Marketing. You can follow Bertrand on Twitter or reach him at Bertrand Hazard
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012 7:04 AM by David Marshall
Comments
VMblog.com - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 15, 2013 7:00 AM

First, I'd like to personally thank everyone for being a valued member and reader of VMblog! Once again, with the help of each of you, VMblog has been able to remain one of the oldest and most successful virtualization and cloud news sites on the Web

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