IT departments will be embroiled in IT transformation from now on.
Private Clouds proliferate
IT shops are surprised at the number of corporate applications in the public cloud
MicroServers will be a bigger part of the market than 10% by EOY 13
Mission Critical will continue the steady migration to virtualized infrastructure
Prediction #1: IT departments will be embroiled in transformation because they will now have competition. Their customers will go to the public web if they can’t get support from the corporate shop. This transformation is already happening. One shop I’ve talked with is striving to provide their business unit customers with rapid deployment of virtual servers. The old way of forcing these business units to wait up to six months or more for a server are rapidly ending.
When a business unit is told they’ll have to wait, the business opportunity that they are trying to tackle might just slip away. Instead of letting that happen they’ll go to a public cloud provider and get a server in minutes. One article recently referred to this as ‘Rogue Clouds’. (See prediction #3 above!)
Of course IT shops don’t want to lose control but the proliferation of alternatives for their customers is turning all this around. IT shops have to transform. IT shops have to transform to remain relevant.
To do this they are choosing to move to a homogenous environment of low cost 2 socket servers or even MicroServers (see prediction 4 above). By having a standardized environment on which to build a highly virtualized compute farm or even private cloud (See prediction #2 above) the IT shop can provide flexibility and high availability to their customers. Again, a shop I’ve talked to is using VMware’s vSphere to provide high availability to their customers. They say that they have better availability and uptime at a much lower cost than they were getting on their AIX environment. Suddenly Mission Critical in the private cloud starts to make sense. (See prediction #5 above)
Let’s build out that AIX example. Say the AIX server is hosting 100 virtual machines in combinations of LPARS and virtual software. Let’s say that there is an unanticipated fault that brings down the entire machine. Unless these virtual machines are clustered to a virtual machine on another server, all 100 have just gone down. To bring the machine back up, the structure of the virtual machines has to be recreated followed by restarting restored images of the 100 servers. That’s going to take a while. One choice to avoid this is to purchase or lease a second AIX server to cluster as a passive high availability host. The impact to the corporation could be hours of outage or costs in the 7 to 8 figures for the clustered solution.
Another choice to port the applications to a virtual server in a private cloud where high availability can be selected as a configuration option while instantiating the server. If the host server happens to fail then the server is instantiated on another identical server immediately; no need to await configuration of the server. The net impact to the corporation is possibly a second or so of outage. The cost of the 2 socket server isn’t very high and replacing it in the rack is a choice as having spare servers isn’t an expensive proposition. And now with server disaggregation (yes, Intel is a collaborator) the task of configuring server farms is becoming simpler than assembling a model using toy blocks.
The role of IT is rapidly changing. The role of the IT staff is changing. The role of the server is changing. The architecture of different brands of servers is losing any distinction. The change is occurring at an ever rapid rate. The only thing we in IT can be assured of is that the ground under our feet is shifting and flexibility is a guiding principle for our careers.
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