The DataCenter Evolution


In the last decade the DC has taken major reworks and design changes. The last years the evolution was marked thru the revolution on the market. Disruptive technology shifts and new classes of devices have changed the demands of a classic DC. Still most of the money is spent to keep the lights on. On average only 25% of the budgets of a datacenter is kept to new business and improve the situation.

The DataCenter

(c) by presentermedia

So what will happen ?

First of all there is not one answer to this question, but we can try to look into the future challenges of IT businesses:

The world will continue to generate huge amounts of informations. Consumeration of IT will continue at a faster pace, with new devices appear. Regulations will change to adapt the new reality of IT, like privacy by default etc. Realtime of Information will overcome, data collection for later processing Security and Trust alliances will be more necessary since Information is more volatile.

In 1999, when I experienced the first SAN implementations many CIOs told me that there will be a limit on data storage since the complexity become too much to handle in the DC with two or more networks. Looking back the technology vendors and IT departments have established a quite good understanding how to train and build out teams of architects for the SAN Networking in parallel with the IP Networks. Now the complexity in DataStorage raises and DC managers think about the way to deal with that. Future will tell, but my view is that the networking will come together with the SDN concepts where the physical network is decoupled from the logical view. In this case the SAN and IP can be managed from one point. Further more with the appearance of the Virtualization the future of the ressource management will be come together. When observing the technology development and the industry demand on information management, the cloud burst and the consumeration of information management the way leads to a generic ressource in IT which is assigned a task. In otherwords, why having a storage device, a computing device or an networking controller or even a PC. it is defined by the demand. There will be an efficient device for each task in the first step, but I strongly believe that in a couple of years the physic will no longer be the architectural definition of the DC. It will be the software.

The Earth

(c) by NASA

So why would a CEO today think about putting money into an own DataCenter or IT-Department ?

Most probably to gain advantage of the competition in having applications bestir customized to the business process. Today I found very interesting that CIO´s get asked by the business to challenges with the rest of the world. It is hard for them since the internal BU´s often not compare fair. The “good enough” principle will only work if this is also internal applicable.

Security demands, internal processes and other guidelines drive the IT-department often in additional cost.

So the question should not be “do I need an own DC of IT-department”, it should be the question about responsibility on the information. There is a reason why the DC is called Datacenter! and the CIO os call “Chief Information Officer”, not “Chief Datacenter Officer”. In this context, it is obvious that the DC no longer is necessary in physical form to exist, it is more the collection of services and Information flow the responsible manager should look for.

Finally the datacenter will become the Touring Maschine !!

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Running the most powerful iPAD


VMware View

In the last years the consolidation on one hand and the standardization on the other has lifted the expectations of the users to always on/endless power. Even compute intensive applications moved into the cloud. With the challenge of the  “multiple” device user experience many consumers of IT experienced the lack of integration. So applications like “dropbox”, “box.net” or even the project “Octopus” from VMware have been generated to consolidate information on one single source.

Enterprises have troubles with that since there is a layer of trust and control witch may leave the ship.  So to take in account that we use more than one device, depending on the personal lifestyle and the expectations from culture or business to be online more often, the devices need to be “always-on”, trusted and reliable. 

We call this user-experience, which VMware has taken in account and developed the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This let run you desktop on a server and “beam” the screen to your device.

 

 

 

There comes a lot of advantages with that.

  • First and foremost, it can run all the time. There is no need to shut down at all. I am not talking about sleep, it runs. This implies that Outlook rules i.e. will be executed always.
  • Second, it is fast. Since all the VDI desktops run on the same HW or close communication is fast. Resources can be shared, Infrastructure is no longer carried away when the user is inactive. Others can be leverage the remaining power.
  • Third, administration can be done much more easily. Since I used the VDI for business, there was at least one incident where our AntiVirus provider has sent a corrupted update, which leads to a block of most of the laptops. Also the VDI was affected. However the VDI has been shut down, reinitialized and than rebooted to recover. More than 1000 virtual laptops has been restored in minutes with involving 2 employees. The physical exchange of the profile has taken days and involved most of the IT specialist in the field.
  • Forth, security is key in enterprises, even the VDI is not free from fraud, at least it can be better controlled by the admins and security patches are installed in one big shot.
  • Fifth, backup it is all in the DC, most of the information is redundant, so de-duplication like Avamar or DataDomain can be much more effective, which also restore is fast, since it happens in the DC.

So what is the catch? In my experience with the VDI it is hard for offline travelers and on very low latency connections.

 

To use it for my daily work enables me to use my apps like Outlook, PowerPoint salseforce.com on my iMac, iPAD and MacBook, at the same time, no boot time delay, easy access and 100% support of the IT department.

Even my iPAD is not the best device for producing work it can leverage all the legacy application I have to use and provide me thru the PiggyVDI the best infrastructure to run my desktop: an vBlock from VCE.

Many IT experts I have spoken see that VDI is the key for BYOD and demands of an Enterprise, but the infrastructure has to be flexible enough to compensate for the enterprise demand resources, since it is not easy to predict the amount of desktops running at the same time. This is not exactly true since VMware and VCE has good models and experience to design this.

 

My strong believe is that with the user centric IT, VDI will be the future of enterprise desktop management and it will deliver the power of the enterprise to the User´s device, quick, easy and reliable.

Related: 

VMware View demo on iPAD

Was Spock the first Data Analyst?


The last couple of years a discussion around the information society has started. Since more people enter data around their lives as well our planet, it was obvious that business start to leverage this trend and added more data; like Google scanned the library of Congress, mapped the planet including the oceans. Nowadays this is topped. Data combination and new streams of information are provided, some free some for purchase.

Now in the Star Trek series the chief scientist, called Spock, has the task to gather as many as possible data streams delivered on the starship, combine it with the knowledge of a huge computer library and dr

Vulcan (Star Trek)

Vulcan (Star Trek) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

aw conclusions of it, in real-time. In this series the logic and an ability to draw fast conclusions for the captain to make relevant decisions where key for survival.

In modern business the survival of companies depend on fast, exact, agile conclusions.  Modern technologies like the Chorus a product of Greenplum enables businesses of all sizes to gain insight on markets, customers, competition etc. was it in the past that this could be done on a long time frame today’s businesses move toward a continuous optimization and adoption of the GTM and their portfolios.

To enable an agile business process leader of companies have to gather as many streams of data around your business combine it with insight knowledge and make the tough decisions.

Specialists that turn this data into information where decisions will be drawn from so called data analyst, while the identifying of relevant data streams out of white noise is the job of a data scientist.

Of course today the time between analyze and decision-making is not quite short like it was often at the Enterprise, but the trend of more and faster data generation as well as access, more agile business grow as startups and compete with the established ones.

Looking on trends in IT departments of enterprises of all kinds, the desire for more agility leads to a cloud approach. This is only the first step, the last state is to be in the middle of the data universe and navigate their Enterprise thru the business solar system. The input will be overwhelming, new processes for sensors input needed to be developed and the crew aligned to the new command structure.

The engineering section, we would call it infrastructure, has to offer flexible and agile systems to answer the requests fast and right. One Key to success is automation, orchestration and standardization, and not dictation and a silo approach. Scotty will most probably fit into a data scientist role.

Star Trek: Phase II

Star Trek: Phase II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CIO´s will more become like captains to understand the challenges in this new space and align the crew and the rest of the ship to needs of the next decade. When cloud computing is the engine for agility, Big Data is the survival kit for the enterprise in the future. So Spock and Scotty are the two main assets of modern Enterprises  and James T. Kirk has drawn the right decisions from them, always.

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