Gartner Symposium: The Future of Infrastructure and Operations

I just left a very hard-hitting seminar by Gartner analyst, Thomas Bittman–very deep and thought provoking. Basically he and Gartner are predicting that the future of IT infrastructure and operations is shifitng from a physical paradigm to a virtual one. The orientation is basically taking into consideration that businesses and organizations are shifitng to a business and service focus. Essentially business has an “I don’t care as long as it works” attitude toward IT. IT should be invisible.

Now businesses, our organization included, are making a shift toward server and application virtualization. Toward that end we are delivering most of our end user appliacations via Citrix and migrating as many servers as possible to virtual machines. We now have about as many virtual machines as we have physical boxes. In any case, virtualization will continue in the future. Many applications vendors are now also virtualizing thier applications. Java VM is an early example of this, but many vendors are now lookig to run their apps on a virtual OS–a layer of abstraction between the OS and the application–making the application OS independent. VM Appliaces are manefestation of this. More and more vendors will produce their software apps as single function VMs. Here are some bullet take aways from the seminar:

  • Business policies driven
  • Service oriented
  • Reduce costs, increase quality of service
  • Provisioning: workload, resources, and identity management–users get/lose access automatically as they come and go
  • Availability
  • Unified communications
  • By 2010 the majority of businesses will have integrated communications into thiet busines strategies
  • In the future unplanned downtime will be caused by application failure rather than operations failures and errors
  • CMDB (Configuration Management Database) and RBA (Run Book Automation)
  • Virtualization
    • Abstraction between applications and OS: SUN containers, MS Softricity, Virtuozzo
    • Abstraction between OS and harware: VMWare, Xen Server, Virtualiron, HP integrity VM, IBM, MS Veridian
    • Appliances–single function, thin/hidden OS, segregating applications onto VMs

  • Remote access, software streaming
  • Thin OS: JEOS
  • Agility and costs: pay for services based on usage. As the business grows the costs grow incrementally. You only pay for waht you need.
  • Economics was the only thing driving IT, now there is a shift to agilty, and quality of service.
  • Need to have a maturity model, what is your plan for managing this evolution.

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