Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2013. Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed article by Aaron Suzuki, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of SmartDeploy
Best bets you can bank on for 2013
It is a time of great transition in IT. 2013 is going to bring to bear some expected trends and completely throw out others in places like cloud computing, end user computing and mobility. But it won’t be a time of great change. Rather, I predict it will be a year of models that mature into the mainstream with only a few surprises. Here are a couple of "best bets" you can bank on for 2013.
Forget the Private Cloud – it's all going public
The IT infrastructure is really coming along with cloud computing. It is really fun and exciting to see how multiple players now have viable solutions in the market and how customers are responding with uptake, implementation and feedback. In business, cloud means private cloud for the most part.
The challenge with the public cloud is that Gordon Moore and his eponymous law are still alive and well. This means that the “cost of computing” is rapidly diminishing, making each server simultaneously more powerful and yet require less power and run at considerably higher temperatures. In short, fewer servers are required to do much more work at lower ongoing cost. However, public cloud providers of both IaaS and PaaS solutions (most notably Amazon Web Services, but also Microsoft’s Azure platform) are not adjusting their costs to reflect these dramatic increases in efficiency.
This incongruity of value between a self-hosted server and a cloud-hosted server service creates a challenge for the enterprise when evaluating the ROI from public cloud solutions compared to buying or leasing a new server and running things on-premises.
However, I predict in 2013 we will see an interesting, and possibly amazing turn of events as businesses large and small begin hybridizing their infrastructures in very simple ways, using bandwidth-optimized, compute-light services delivered at a compelling low cost. Businesses will consume services like these either stubbed out from IaaS or PaaS providers, or as complete, finished services offered as SaaS.
As hybrid manageability continues to improve, we will see more and more highly efficient redundancy achieved through simple public cloud services. And based on the maturity of private cloud solutions heading into 2013 and the follow-on needs that is precipitating, I believe we could see rapid increase in public cloud service uptake by the end of 2013.
“Death of the PC?” Not going to happen.
There will be no death of the PC, not in 2013 nor in the years that follow. The “Post PC era” is really better labeled the “PC-plus era”. The reason why, and this point is echoed in some form in most every comment thread below articles about tablets killing PCs: I cannot (yet) use all 10 of my fingers on a touch-based device and make as much happen as fast as I can with a full-size keyboard with 101 keys.
The desktop will lag in evolution from the data center, where the private cloud took fast hold because of the tremendous efficiency improvements from server consolidation through virtualization. The promise of better manageability of virtualized data centers made the private cloud immediately relevant, maximizing efficiency gains of virtualization. The move with the desktop, like the data center, is in manageability. However, because desktops don’t gain efficiency through virtualization the same way servers do, the path and results are different. Desktops really should have characteristics of the cloud, like centralized management, self-service, and complete fluidity. And it is that last part that could alter the future of the PC.
Without digressing too deeply into tech-talk, in the absence of a virtual machine, portability is a different undertaking. But there is a path. The problem is that currently, except for the largest, wealthiest companies, desktop transformation is out of reach for the masses, and it will remain out of reach through 2013. Current offerings are just too complicated, requiring software that is too expensive to buy and implement for all but the largest enterprises. And perhaps more relevant, the latest models of desktop virtualization are quite sophisticated. It takes time for anyone to get their heads wrapped around the concept. But by no means does this imply that the PC is going away. In fact, because there is no really easy way to achieve modern endpoint manageability (to centralize and manage desktops, making data and applications available on demand from any device, cost effectively, to a wide variety of customers), the PC is going to remain the pivotal locus of business productivity for years to come.
There will be more use of mobile devices and tablets and they will get cheaper and more capable. Phones will continue to get bigger and more capable. But all of these devices will remain a complement to the productivity powerhouse that is the PC. Lots of organizations are bound to create and expand BYOD policies, but the primary devices people are going to bring to work are going to be dominated by computers with keyboards and pointing devices. These are amazing, powerful, and incredibly inexpensive devices that business won’t be able to live without – certainly not in 2013.
About the Author
Aaron Suzuki is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of SmartDeploy, a recognized leader in providing IT systems management solutions that reduce the time, cost, and complexity of managing Windows clients and servers.