A view from the Infrastructure
In the last 15 years the Infrastructure landscape was defined by demands of the business. This will of course not change. However the approach that one business line demands middleware X another middleware Y will stop. There is a profound reason for that.
In the last couple of years the physic run the Infrastructure has dramatically comodiasied. This has reach a point where the saving for large enterprise no
longer get in significant dimensions. The efficiency thru Server Virtualization and nowadays Storage Virtualization has reached in some enterprises more than 80%. With new storage and server orchestration layers and additional concepts like the enterprise hybrid cloud (EHC) this can be tweaked more, but needs first a different approach to the IT operation.
Key here is private cloud, which is similar to the public could offerings, of course on premise.
So what is the catch?
Mainly the operation. In the traditional datacenter, many enterprises and global operational IT departments have build a structure to map the silos approach of the LoB (Line of Business). You will find functions focused on Server, Storage, Networking, Databases, Middleware etc. Each of them have coordination functions with the LoB and cross functional sections. Lost of talks I have with those entities in the IT department always claim that they can do that better than external companies like VCE, which offers converged Infrastructure. Also many of them hide behind the “vendor-lock-in” argument.
On the other side we see that this cost the companies a fortune. Often this IT departments cover 70% of their cost with this, or the other way they can save a lot of that.
What has changed ?
With the concept of “as-a-service”, IT has the ability to automate many tasks and build a software layer as the final governance. With new concept of SLA build into the Software defined components IT personal no longer has to pan, define think-about and run it. Combined with the Converged Infrastructure and the possibilities of Software defined it changes the silos approach to an more holistic view of the datacenter. This does not only save cost and transport test and development of the infrastructure back to the vendor, it also allows higher integration of resources to drive more efficiency.
How does LoB react ?
Often they already there. With offerings of a public cloud the development of new software happens in this organizations often without the IT department involvement. This is a major concern of the CIO and CDO which I here very often. LoB´s look at the business outcome, they have alternatives to the internal IT now and they move off.
So what is next?
From ym view a lot will come in to analyze of the current state of the IT department and how mature this is already in the as-a-service transformation. There are various of offerings like the IT Transformation Workshop of EMC to define and reshape the IT landscape. Have a look at that.
So what with the applications?
Not so simple. There will be three types of applications found in many of the enterprises.
Applications which only deliver information, exist because of historical reasons. Others are monolithic large Enterprise Apps, like SAP, or Oracle Applications the thrid one are new apps for the new business lines touching Web, Mobile, social and cloud.
For the first, I would retire them and replace that by a database delivering the results. Maybe there are apps no longer used, but nobody realize that? Shut them down. The 2nd kind is more tricky, and have to looked at case by case build a migration strategy and this may take some mont/years. The last I would put immediately on the new concept of Infrastructure.
So what is the key characteristics of this infrastructure?
Automation and orchestration, comodization and standardization. To drive more cost out of the IT the next generation of architecture have to follow this rules. More that that it has to build an independent layer between the physic and the applications. An interface between the resources and the applications. Efficiency and time to provisioning can be only gained with automation. Modern architecture drive provisioning down from weeks to days or even hours, defining the SLA and report back the cost of the selected SLA`s. Also it reports back whether a service breached the SLA or has performed in the payed and agreed parameters.
Finally all this journey start with the ability of the IT department to change and understand the journey of the private cloud.
Image courtesy of pro-physic.de, EMC Corporation