From the Blogosphere
The Coming Cloud Computing Wars
Cloud Isn't Hype - It's a Vendor Struggle for Relevance
By: Greg Ness
Feb. 21, 2009 12:00 AM
The cloud computing meme continues to billow as Juniper and IBM announce a cloud management partnership rumors swirl about heavy petting between VMware and shareholder/partner Cisco. A few months ago it seemed like every cloud discussion included Google and/or Amazon; now it appears that “the network infrastructure issue” has finally reared its head and ushered in networking and management leaders into the cloud conversation.
More cloud watchers are discovering that cloud apps -at a minimum- will put more burdens on the network. As IT services decouple from hardware the network becomes one of the key chokepoints to the realization of system and endpoint mobility. System automation will force network automation, or the evolution of Infrastructure 2.0.
Chokepoints will Drive Innovation
Netbooks are in essence traffic-rich network endpoints; if that market continues to accelerate it will put disproportionate pressure on the network. Yet netbooks aren’t the only chokepoint for today’s static networks maintained by manual laborers.
Those responsible for managing increasingly virtualized data centers will feel more pain. Most early production virtualization deployments are extensive arrays of hypervisor VLANs, or virtualization-lite.
Each VLAN is its own zone of servers and applications with unique user and/or security/storage requirements. Transforming these smaller containers of “specialized” processing power into vast, fluid cloudplexes enabled by VMotion will require numerous breakthroughs in network and application intelligence as well as storage.
These chokepoints between the status quo and the business case for The Intercloud will drive investment and growth in new innovation as they put new pressures on tired, manually-intensive status quos of network configuration clerks already busy trying to keep up with increasingly automated and mobile systems. They will force network and operations teams to work more closely together, from management to purchasing.
It’s Not Hype, It’s Survival
The biggest risk to a network vendor today may indeed be irrelevance to cloud, even though cloud could be five years away from being relevant to the bottom line. If you’re wondering why so much commotion, that’s your answer. Cisco, F5 Networks, Juniper, IBM and others understand the importance of cloud relevance to the architectural decisions being made today for the data centers of tomorrow.
This disproportionate preoccupation where IT is going is very understandable. It is perhaps the most significant evolution in IT since...the network.
You can get my thoughts in real-time at www.twitter.com/archimedius. I’ll also be moderating a cloud panel on May 18 at Interop and a dynamic infrastructure panel at Future in Review. If you’re attending either event feel free to stop by and say hello. Or you can simply join the conversation here.
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