It is the start of VMworld and my during my first days of meetings and briefings I have met up with a few companies like QualiSystems, Rackware, and Intiqua that are focusing on automation. These meetings have further confirmed my thoughts from my previous post that automation has now made it mainstream and will continue to grow from here. I expect more and more third-party offerings that will automate more day-to-day tasks and so much more. This supports my belief that in the large enterprises the lower level support groups are going to be an endangered species that will be replaced by automation, which will put a greater demand on the high-end engineers and/or automation developers. This thought leads me to believe that the future of virtualization support  groups will be split between two teams. One will consist of virtual architecture and virtual implementation;  the other will be a support group of automation engineers to maintain and build the automation workflows.

It is going to take a team of engineers to maintain and build the catalog of workflows, but I foresee a lot less hands-on from these automation engineers, at least as far as performing day-to-day administrative tasks. Is this a good or bad thing? I think it really depends, but for the most part it will be a good thing. Less administrative “hands on” in an enterprise environment will result in less chance for human error, and this will translate into less down time and faster response time to our customers. I want to be clear that I think this change will be mainly for the larger enterprises and in time will trickle down to the smaller companies as they develop automation that will leave them available to work on other tasks.

Switching gears a little, I wanted to mention another company that I think is very much worth keeping an eye on, Panzura. This object-based storage company is in a position to significantly redefine storage for the cloud and is in the unique position of being supported and recommended by some of the major companies like Amazon, Cleversafe, Dell, EMC, Google, HP Cloud, IBM, and Nirvanix. This puts Panzura in a unique position to enhance and not compete with other larger companies. I truly believe that we have just started to see the “tip of the iceberg” with the overall capabilities of Panzura technology, and I can’t wait for what I believe will be a major announcement coming from them before the end of the year. This is truly a company to keep your eye on in the near future, because their true potential has not been fully realized yet. Once this potential has been established and announced the storage world will be at their fingertips.

All in all, VMworld 2013 is shaping up to be a stellar event, and I look forward to the announcements and other briefings that I have planned and scheduled throughout the week. If you are here at the show I hope I get the opportunity to say hello and talk with you about the future of virtualization.  The start of VMworld is looking quite promising.

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Steve Beaver (160 Posts)

Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.

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