The question on most IT professionals’ mind seems to be “what’s the next paradigm shift in the datacenter space”
A decade ago, most organizations heavily adopted Virtualization and incorporated a “Virtualization first” approach. This was an inflection point deviating from the customary process to evaluate workload suitability for virtualization to a default virtualize first unless there are compelling reasons not to. Application vendors did their bit by providing reference architecture and best practices to ease the transition. The benefits of this transit were 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, hardware vendors refined the physical boundaries to accommodate the transit.
While in the initial days, there were skepticism and rebellion of sorts. Certain industries chose to remain physical citing their reasons, eventually, we saw almost all verticals from banks to defense organizations adopt virtualization.
An 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 on-prem, some that can be run on the public cloud, and some hybrid.
From an organizational standpoint, CIOs would build a cloud strategy with a set of policies that will govern the placement of workloads
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 while we witnessed each layer in the datacenter (bottom-up) getting commoditized.
Gartner states that by 2020, the concept of a “no-cloud” policy would be rare.
An increasing emphasis continues to be on a hybrid model with shifting balances.