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Convirture 2014 Predictions - Applying the Lessons of Alice in Wonderland

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this 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 knew.

#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 vendor.

#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 computing resources.

"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."

Well, you 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.
Published Wednesday, December 04, 2013 6:43 AM by David Marshall
Going Down the Rabbit Hole for a Look at the Future of Data Centers and Cloud Computing | The Convirture Blog - (Author's Link) - December 6, 2013 11:06 AM
Going Down the Rabbit Hole for a Look at the Future of Data Centers and Cloud Computing | The Convirture Blog - (Author's Link) - December 6, 2013 11:06 AM
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