Things change. I’m not talking about my wife, job or car. I’m talking about myself and infrastructure consisting of servers, storage and networking. I don’t want underutilized resources that take time to manage and don’t let me get things done.
Let me explain. I flew into Boston to give a couple of Executive Briefings on the Virtual Datacenter this week. Some customers saw exactly where I was going and others probably thought I was insane. I started at a high level and then went into the details but here’s the problem. When we talk about infrastructure becoming a pool of resources that you’re able to push and pull workloads into and out of, some people think it’s fairytale land. It’s not. I used to build my own computers but I don’t anymore. I buy one that has the most, not all, of the best technology and is good enough.
What they see:
- Complex infrastructure with many moving parts
- Legacy applications, some virtualization adoption
- Thick fog that’s hard to see through
- They think they’ll have to trust something new
What I see:
- A multi-step process that takes time
- Virtualization allows us to focus less on the boxes, cables and spinning platters
- Platforms (Springsource with Azure, Amazon’s AWS also qualifying) enabling quicker development
- We can make existing infrastructure and software better
Infrastructure AND platforms are both part of the “Stack” and “Cloud” conversation. It’s about businesses being able to let their most valuable asset (their people) work on deploying applications faster instead of provisioning servers. Yes, the “server huggers” and “IT pros” as Brian Prince (Azure Evangelist at Microsoft) calls them, will still be needed to make sure we’re architecting and deploying apps properly on the infrastructure.
Change is ok. Things aren’t perfect but continually improving. Most of us drive cars instead of ride horses and we buy clothes instead of make our own. People trust technology (network, shared storage, memory, etc) and build around its faults (RAID etc.).
Recently I was bluntly accused of spouting an EMC-centric view. As if other technology companies didn’t see it this way too. Guess what, it’s not just EMC, it’s many end-users and vendors both who share this view. The view of and challenges posed to enterprise customers is much different from those faced by sometimes smaller and more public-facing web service companies. I get it. There are still security challenges, management challenges, and legacy application challenges but before so quickly dismiss stacks and cloud, open your mind a bit.
Here are some notes I took during the keynote at the 2009 Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference I attended months before joining EMC.
Session: Bridging the private and public Cloud
- Move has been to get higher utilization
- It’s about the applications and working to get them into the cloud
- Build rich apps for the cloud while preserving app symmetry w/ the enterprise
- Frictionless deployment across the spectrum
- New breed of apps that span from on-premises to cloud