Clouds and beyond

The question on most IT professionals’ mind seems to be “what’s the next paradigm shift in the datacenter space”

About a decade ago, most IT companies started heavy adoption of Virtualization and incorporated a “Virtualization first” approach. In essence from the typical process of an IT manager procuring a hardware resource, he would evaluate if the intended workload could be virtualized. If yes, that would the default choice. The reasons are obvious and aplenty – cost, flexibility, availability and so on.

Net-net, the datacenters consolidated and optimized. To help the cause there’s Moore’s law

While in the initial days, there were skepticism and rebellion of sorts. Certain industries chose to remain physical citing their own reasons, eventually we saw almost all verticals from banks to defense organizations adopt virtualization.

Important thing to note is that, as the density of hypervisor vendors increased, the value proposition was no more “Virtualization” rather who could serve it best, (i.e) the actual competition was who can provide a better  quality of features on top of a virtualized platform.

One can also perceive that “virtualization” turned into a commodity and how it can be delivered, maintained or managed were the deciding factors.

In the meanwhile, there were interesting developments above and below the virtualization layer… there was hyper-convergence, storage & network virtualization and in the application stack, modernization of apps to move away from legacy models to  cloud native models.

Putting the pieces together, we have a mixed bag of workloads. Some can be in a private cloud, some that can be run on the public cloud and some hybrid.

From organizational standpoint, CIOs would build a cloud strategy with a set of policies that will govern the placement of workloads (A feature to consider – Policy based Cloud Workload Management)

The devil is in the details,

Private Cloud = Increased Capex – On-PREM but better control and compliance

Public Cloud = Increased Opex – Off-PREM but predictable expenditure and less IT management complexities such datacenter costs – power , cooling, hardware maintenance etc…

Over a period of time we witnessed each layer in the datacenter (bottom-up) getting commodotized.

Gartner states that by 2020, the concept of “no-cloud” policy would be rare.

It appears that a hybrid state with shifting balances will prevail for a fair amount of time and Nostradamus may help us from there !!!