Virtualization Technology News and Information
Hyper9: 2011 Predictions - From "VM Stall" to "VM All" and More

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2011?  Find out in this series exclusive.

Contributed Article By Bob Quillin, CMO, Hyper9, Inc.   

2011 Predictions - From "VM Stall" to "VM All" and More

Looking back and looking forward from this point in 2010, I believe we are at a turning point for IT - one of those tipping points that leads to massive new efficiencies and innovation.  The economy is slowly turning around - bit-by-bit - and there's a new positive energy and focus in IT that's palpable. 

I spent last week at the Gartner 2010 Data Center Conference in Las Vegas, and you could sense a real sea change was in the works.  Not just from what the analysts were saying but also from the real-world deployments that actual IT organizations presented at the conference and shared in the hallways - this stuff is real and happening.  Virtualization is no longer a debatable technology but is now a foregone conclusion.  The cloud now must be factored into any 3-year plan for IT.  Private clouds are the logical extension of virtualization and start the next major movement to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) - not just for the efficiencies but also as an IT imperative to stave-off a mass migration of IT's value to public cloud options.

But I'll take those as assumptions - now for some predictions.  It's in this new spirit of innovation and renewal that virtualization and private cloud management moves from negative (and why we're stalled and how virtualization has gone rogue) to positive (and how we're passing stall on the way to something bigger), so here we go.

1.      From "VM Stall" to "VM All"

Many folks in the IT management space have been talking about "VM Stall" all year long - that magical 30% virtualized barrier IT organizations are stuck on and can't get past.  My feeling is that the "VM Stall" phenomenon is a bit over-hyped and has been wishful thinking by many physical management vendors hoping that the virtualization wave doesn't happen so fast as to wash away their business - clinging to the "P" in the face of overwhelming "V" if you will. 

The fact is that at Hyper9, we see customers charging through this barrier quicker than many ever thought they could or would.   The new magical barrier seems to be at 80 or 90% - and how can IT organizations get to 100%? 

So 2011 will focus less on wringing our hands on why we're stalled but on how to manage these larger VM deployments that are quick reaching 1,000s if not 10,000+ VM counts.  So to me, the real question is not one of "VM Stall" and the 30%, but how we as an industry can get to 100% and "VM All."


2.      VM and the Seven Dwarfs

By now you've probably heard of all these new VM personas, and in fact, my guess is that they may have their own animated movie soon. 

There's Zombie, Rogue, Orphan, Phantom, Shadow, Stale, and Idle.  All VMs with special powers and unique gifts!  And by this time next year, we may even have enough new characters for a sequel.  It's pretty awesome that such a colorful vernacular has sprung up around virtualization but I think it's indicative of the fact that this is new territory.  Managing virtualization is different.  It's not just a special case of physical management, and the terminology, the problems, the rate of change, and the pace of innovation is unique.  So when you look in the magic mirror at your current physical management tools, you'll likely see just that - physical management tools.  So 2011 is the year that IT organizations start to face up to the real virtualization management work ahead of them and get busy with real virtualization management solutions - Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho!


3.      Green Fields and Clean Slates

Starting anew is a common New Year's resolution, and IT is doing just that.  Over and over again in this last year at VMware and Hyper9, I've spoken to IT architects who have taken this downtime in the economy and the coming sea change ahead in IT as an opportunity - seizing the moment.  They're building green-field data center architectures based on the core concepts of IT-as-a-Service, self-service, virtualization, and converged infrastructures (note the buzz around VCE Vblocks, Cisco UCS, Dell VIS, etc.) using what Gartner calls "Clean Slate IT."  It doesn't happen very often in your career, but given the opportunity to build it right from the start, IT architects are looking at new management tools that match the new infrastructure patterns. 

At the Gartner conference last week, a senior architect told me candidly, "We're not going to bring our old management tools into our new data center.  This is designed from the bottom-up as a virtualized architecture.  I need new management tools designed for that environment, and I don't want a retrofitted technology that pollutes the design." 

Sounds like 2011 could be the year we see more and more Green Field IT and Clean Slate Management.


4.      Big Data

One thing's for sure.  Data is growing faster than ever.  Latest I heard was upwards of 80% a year.  For management tools, this typically poses an overwhelming problem of creating business intelligence from an ever-increasing base of raw data.  What's interesting is now, more than ever, we're dealing with an explosion of unstructured data.  And the big winners on the Web today are the ones that have created competencies mapping from unstructured data to structured data - discovering and applying the metadata required to make this data useful.   Earlier generation performance management tools developed originally for physical management environments have focused on time-series data analytics to learn and predict behaviors.  As the cloud and virtualization create an ever-increasing web of interdependencies in 2011 - these relationships will form the metadata foundation for a next generation of analytics that go beyond performance to include key private cloud concepts as capacity, configuration, chargeback, and of course performance, too.


5.      The Age of Analytics

Analytics will form the core of a new intelligence layer required to drive real-time resource allocation decisions in the private cloud.  If IT teams invest in self-service portals, service catalogs, and back-end orchestration and automation, there will be little patience to wait for a human capacity planner to analyze available options, do some what-if analyses, balance amongst competing reservations, and determine the proper course of action.  Policies may determine how much a specific application or workload requires for its SLAs and what are its business priorities, but scarce resources need to be dynamically allocated and optimally deployed. That's where real-time analytics will drive intelligent decisions.  In 2011, this intelligence layer will become a must-have for effective private cloud management and deployment. This is something near and dear to the Hyper9 design.

So that wraps up the predictions for now.  Check out our Hyper9 blogs for more details and musings on where we are and where we're going.  2011 is gearing up to be an exciting year with tremendous opportunities for huge innovations and rapid advances in efficiency.  We look forward to joining you on that journey.

About the Author

Bob Quillin, a technology marketing veteran with over 27 years of systems, application, and network management experience, joins Hyper9 from VMware where he was Director of Marketing. At VMware, Bob led product marketing for vCenter virtualization and cloud management solutions for applications, configuration, and compliance including vCenter Application Discovery Manager, vCenter AppSpeed, and vCenter Configuration Manager.

Prior to VMware, Bob was Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at nLayers which was acquired by EMC. At EMC he launched the Ionix product line and was responsible for product marketing across EMC's next generation IT management products. This included solutions for Data Center Automation & Compliance (UIM, Voyence, Configuresoft, ControlCenter), IT Operations (Smarts), Application Discovery & Mapping (nLayers ADM), and ITSM (Infra). Previously, Bob served as Vice President of Marketing at Packeteer, Network Physics, and, leading product marketing & product management, product strategy, corporate communications, analyst relations, and channel development.

Bob is a frequent blogger and industry event speaker and holds a BA in Mathematical Science from the Johns Hopkins University and an MSEE from George Washington University.

Published Wednesday, December 15, 2010 7:00 AM by David Marshall
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