Learn from the past, think about the future, but live in the now !

When I prepared for my last tests at the University, one of my professors mentioned that they intend not to guide us to find good jobs immediately after the University, the key is that we as graduates have longer term chances to find and keep excellent jobs. At this time I thought it was stupid, my profession starts with my first job and not in 10 years.

Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actua...

Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6.75 mm) in its packaging. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Time showed to me, that it is key to have both in mind when you start and it is essential to stay laser sharp focused.

Same in datacenters, when CIO´s get confronted with the new reality of BYOD, data deluge, cyber attacks and complexity explosion. Positions and processes years worked no longer seem accurate, personal gets confused, and the business units claim to have often more IT knowledge, since they use flexible services on the Internet. The CIO´s and IT managers I talked to often seek for external help, call consultants, which tell them that all has to change, processes has to be reworked and the HC has to decrease.

What a challenge!

Most people underestimate the finest attitude mankind has is: the best ability to change and adapt. Of course this is not easy, people like to be in the comfort zone, don`t like to get moved or learn new skills, move on and modify, even they do this all their lifes.

Most successful IT organizations I know have arranged with that to a superlative, taken the employees on the road and established a culture of change. As we learn from the past the change never stops, we moved from monolithic mainframes to mini´s to server to PC and now to tablets; from proprietary OS to open source from complex instructions CPU´s to RISC and back, from multiple CPU architectures, to multiple server to multiple core architectures. From ASCII terminals to mouse driven interactive PC´s to gesture tablets. From 640 KB RAM to Tb of RAM, from 5 MB Disk drive to 4 TB and now flash technology. So we know the past, we understand that telecommunication 10 years ago has been an enterprise asset and now is an outsourced, VOIP driven business.

So what will the future bring to plan, new devices, like the Google glasses, faster storage, from keyboards to voice driven interaction with computers, to InMemory DB build in CloudOS, from Applications to functions, from physical infrastructures topologies and silos, to software defined datacenters. From Application centric approach to information centric concepts, from blade farms to virtual workloads which independent from the blades will be executed?

We will see computer talk to computers, make decisions for us, devices will generate information, which only relevant for seconds. Batch processing will become too slow to keep pace;

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Farsi Wikipedia for the 13th week, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

it will be replaced thru bigdata algorithms.

On the consumption model we will purchase only what we consume, vendors have to deal with end customers enterprises will move legacy workloads to specialized and focused workbenches, all information has to be secured and trusted to be transferred.

So the key for the future will all about information, generates, capture, store, manipulate, destroy and analyze, we call it the gravity is on information.

Based on that, CIO´s and IT managers have to and do act in the now, to prepare. Build an agile infrastructure, make our investments in the Datacenter on skills, new technology, information and big data, that supports the workload management and secure the information, which this is critical to the enterprise or the privacy of an employee or customer. Investments in IT of an enterprise should help to build and prepare an agile datacenter around the information to be ready for the near future and bejond.

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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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