Forecasting Conditions for the 2011 Data Center
Accurate forecasts in this industry should prompt us to look at the future more critically
By: Mark Jamensky
Mar. 17, 2011 02:45 PM
They say you can't predict the weather. Like so many clichés, however, this one isn't quite true. Meteorologists have a host of tools at their fingertips that help them recognize, track and analyze weather patterns in order to support predictions that are often accurate, or at least reasonably close. The same is true in the computing industry, where patterns emerge in data centers and enterprises much as cloud formations become apparent in the skies. With a careful eye and extensive knowledge informed by years of experience and frequent conversations with frontline IT professionals, we can predict future trends with a relatively high degree of accuracy. The beginning of a new decade is an opportune moment in which to forecast where virtualization - the primary IT initiative of our time - will encounter stormy weather and where it might be welcomed by clear skies.
The Evolving Private Cloud Story
That will include a crystallizing understanding that piecemeal management of virtual machines is insufficient for dealing with the complexity of the modern data center. In the immediate future, more enterprises will seek the means to support end-to-end lifecycle management that also delivers capacity and performance control, end-user self-service, as well as much sought after simplicity.
Patience Pays Off in Virtualization
Patience here will literally pay off, as this competition represents important potential cost savings and sole-source avoidance for enterprises. In fact, at VMware Partner Exchange last week it was VMware who admitted that Microsoft Hyper-V and SCVMM 2012 are effectively equivalent to VMware VI3. Although VI3 is now a four-year-old VMware technology, it was still a pretty solid virtualization solution. In the coming year, we should see multi-hypervisor deployments gaining ground in both midsize and large organizations.
Administrators Demand Turnkey Automation
VM lifecycle management and capacity planning will intensify as critical areas of learning for those continuing their adoption of virtualization. Solutions that integrate and automate these disciplines will be required - even in organizations that traditionally have attached little value to automation tools. This heightened demand for automation will be driven by two key factors: the accelerated growth and churn in virtualization and budget constraints that will cause the number of administrators to stay the same.
Automation alone won't cut it, however. IT staffers will look for solutions that do the job right out-of-the-box. Only the largest enterprises with significant professional services budget dollars can consume and maintain large and involved frameworks. The majority of players in the market will require technology that powers up and starts working immediately, delivering turnkey automation built upon templates that are based on proven industry best practices.
A Forecast for the Industry
Accurate forecasts in this industry don't spark us to don raincoats or sunglasses or gloves, but they should prompt us to look at the future more critically. Enterprise decision makers can make informed estimates of what's coming next and use them to shape strategy, goals and initiatives in the virtual data center of 2011.
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