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HotLink Predictions: Attack Conflicting Goals in 2013 - Agility, Diversity, IT-as-a-Service, and Cost Containment

VMblog Predictions

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

Contributed article by Lynn LeBlanc, CEO and founder of HotLink Corporation

Attack Conflicting Goals in 2013: Agility, Diversity, IT-as-a-Service, and Cost Containment

Virtual infrastructure agility is now core to many business models, elevated from its origin as a vehicle of server consolidation and cost savings.  Most enterprises have a large and growing server virtualization footprint, now above 50% of all workloads, according to Gartner.  Not surprisingly, this rapid proliferation and scale leads to a range of requirements to support diverse virtualization platforms.

At the same time, CIOs have strong business interest in evolving to a service-oriented delivery model.  While cloud automation and orchestration technologies are supposed to abstract disparate resource types and allow datacenters to manage and provision platform-agnostic services, somebody still has to integrate, administer, manage and maintain all those heterogeneous resources - each with its own native management environment and unique skill requirements.  These tasks are unquestionably complex and labor-intensive. Mainstream adoption of IT-as-a-service depends on significant virtualization management advances to address this endemic and escalating complexity.

In 2013, two mega-trends will accelerate as data centers pursue the conflicting goals of agility, diversity, IT-as-a-service, and cost containment.

Multi-hypervisor becomes the norm

Expanding virtualization deployments combined with VMware's premium pricing predictably led to second sourcing of server virtualization platforms. Microsoft's sustained investment in Hyper-V created a legitimate alternative to VMware vSphere at a dramatically lower price point.  Cost containment, varied business unit and engineering requirements, application affinity, and many other good reasons have already resulted in significant deployment of mixed virtual infrastructure.  With most VMware hosts running Windows workloads and Hyper-V rapidly closing the feature gap with vSphere, the migration from vSphere to Hyper-V will clearly escalate in 2013.

In 2012, estimates of multi-hypervisor adoption ranged from 40% to 70%, depending on the group surveyed.  In 2013, IT shops will accelerate deployment of heterogeneous hypervisors as Microsoft Hyper-V further matures, VMware price/performance is rationalized, and early multi-hypervisor projects are successfully completed.

Virtualization focus shifts to the management layer

Tackling the challenges of holistic management of heterogeneous virtual infrastructure will take center stage in 2013.  Management is the Achilles heel of implementing IT-as-a-service since each hypervisor vendor has its own management console and exposes only limited functionality through public APIs.  As a result, cloud automation and orchestration solutions require all the native management consoles to function, creating a "manager of managers" operating model.  This approach is inherently complex to deploy and operate.  It simply will not scale.  Therefore, data centers will look to a new generation of technologies to fill the gap.

In 2013, heterogeneous management solutions will be differentiated by their levels of flexibility, integration and ability to seamlessly manage mixed environments as effortlessly as homogeneous ones.  Vendors like HotLink have built sophisticated technologies to address multi-hypervisor deployments, providing a single point of administration and integration and eliminating redundant native hypervisor management consoles.  IT managers will look to next-generation virtualization management solutions, specifically designed to streamline multi-platform administration and operations and provide a scalable foundation for service-oriented delivery.

Agility, diversity, IT-as-a-service, and cost containment may seem like impossibly conflicting goals today.  In 2013, breakthrough innovation has the potential to eliminate fundamental technical barriers and attack these conflicts head-on.

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About the Author

Lynn LeBlanc, CEO and founder of HotLink Corporation, has more than 25 years of enterprise software and technology experience at both Fortune 500 companies and Silicon Valley start-ups. Prior to founding HotLink, Ms. LeBlanc was founder and CEO of FastScale Technology, an enterprise software company acquired by VMware, Inc.
Published Tuesday, December 18, 2012 9:15 AM by David Marshall
Comments
VMblog.com - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 15, 2013 6:59 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

Data center demands for consolidation influence PR strategy « Metis Communications - (Author's Link) - October 31, 2013 10:35 AM
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