Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014. Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed article by Arsalan Farooq, CEO of Convirture
Applying the Lessons of Alice in Wonderland
I see a three-step transition that will occur in data
centers that applies no matter what the size.
To illustrate the points, we can use what Lewis Carroll
wrote Alice in Wonderland in 1865. (Who would have thought that would apply
when we look at the future of data centers and cloud computing?)
#1- "I can't go back
to yesterday because I was a different person then."
This explains how we've arrived today where we are with a
data center that is a polyglot of different technologies and trying to make
them all work together. This is the first pain point realized - platform proliferation - when planning for
the future with the end goal of computing delivered in the form of "IT as a
service" that brings together the computing resources required to run a
business to bear in a dynamic, agile, service-oriented manner. For those
enterprises planning this first step of the transition, I hear all the time: how
did we ever get here, we would have never have built it this way if we only
#2- "My dear, here we
must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go
anywhere you must run twice as fast as that."
Looking ahead to the second step in the data center
transition is realizing more of the same isn't going to cut it. To get anywhere,
the second paint point is that it will take unified
management over all the disparate parts of the data center - and even
external cloud computing resources. Gaining control in the data center and
achieving a converged infrastructure will
require unified management of the physical servers' operating system
layer, virtualization software layer and clouds computing platform layer.
Getting to IT as a service delivery will require holistic management with an
agnostic set of tools - not bound to or controlled by any single platform
#3- "Which way you
ought to go depends on where you want to get to..."
Now, the third transition phase and pain point is the need
for orchestration and automation that
goes beyond management of the disparate piece parts. It's at this point that
control of computing resources will be entirely automated by software and we
actually realize the end goal of computing delivered in the form of "IT as a
service". Centralized management and unified orchestration will handle server
provisioning, performance monitoring, and resource management across multiple
converged systems technologies and across multiple data centers and cloud
"Begin at the
beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop."
This three-step transition will be played out next year and beyond.
Clearly, the timeline varies from enterprise to enterprise with those that
haven't realized even the first pain point yet ... but they will.
We all know from experience, too, that there is always
something ahead and the evolution will continue.
"Have I gone mad? I'm
afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are."
all will be the judge there and I welcome your feedback.
About the Author
Arsalan Farooq is CEO and co-founder of Convirture, which he
started in 2006, with more than 15 years of systems management experience.
Previously, he founded Oracle's Application Service Level Management division,
growing from two engineers to a multi-national organization. Arsalan's career
started as a software designer and in college, he founded a technology
consultancy. He holds degrees in Theoretical Physics and Computer Science from
Reed College and Caltech.