The maturity model for cloud computing - 2009, the year of automation
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 | 5 Comments
At a very high level, each step of the model breaks down like this:
Consolidation is achieved as data centers discover ways to reduce redundancy and wasted space and equipment by measured planning of both architecture (including facilities allocation and design) and process.
Abstraction occurs when data centers decouple the workloads and payloads of their data center infrastructure from the physical infrastructure itself, and manage to the abstraction instead of the infrastructure.
Automation comes into play when data centers systematically remove manual labor requirements for run time operation of the data center.
Utility is the stage at which data centers introduce the concepts of self-service and metering.
Market is achieved when utilities can be brought together over over the Internet to create an open competitive marketplace for IT capabilities (an "Inter-cloud", so to speak).
James then goes on to detail out what organisations are doing in these area, where the opportunities lay, which is all good.
So what does this have to do with all those VMware customers out there? Why is this more important than a new name like vSphere? Well what struck me about this is how it sits with what I have been thinking about as important for 2009.
2009 is going, in my humble opinion, to be the year of automation for VMware/vSphere environments. If there is one thing thats worth investing in, its the automation areas of your virtual infrastructure. Automation is often not tackled up front in the VMware lifecycle and it requires a certain level of maturation of virtualisation within the orgnaisation first.
Why automation? Many sites have started on the path of consolidation and abstraction, sure there is more to do in these areas, but this will be organic growth on the existing base. The industry/vendors will be running around releasing new versions, pushing clouds and all sorts of great things. Yet if you don't have your automation right these new paradigms may be difficult for you to adopt in late 2009 or early 2010. Automation takes time and investment, it will not occur overnight in your organisation. How can you package your application system into a vApp and describe is service characteristics if the only way to create that systems is days of manual installation and configuration?
Automation will also give good returns. In tight economic times automation can reduce TCO. Many of todays security risks and downtimes are caused by human error, not failing hardware, the more that can be automated, the more those up times can be increased.
Take a look at what VMware have done this year. They have released Site Recovery Manager, Stage Manager and Life Cycle Manager. They have new initiatives within the systems and life cycle management market with companies such as BMC, CA and HP. In 2009 we should see the release of the technology from the B-hive acquisition. It certainly looks like VMware themselves have been getting ready and we may see maturity and greater adoption of these offerings in 2009.
Do you see automation as a key initative for 2009? Leave your views in the comments section.