The IT industry is abstracting everything it can, from hardware, to networking, to storage and more. “Abstract and build an API, and the world becomes better” seems to be the motto. Abstraction has become the goal of many subsystems. Many people seem to believe that if you move everything to software, everything will be better—and that if you use the API, things will move faster. This is all true, up to a point. Abstraction is a good thing, and we are now seeing levels of abstraction even within the hardware itself. This is also a good thing.
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Any part of any infrastructure, application, or cloud is data. Data is used by applications, and myriad data is presented to IT organizations for their use, edification, insights, and more. But what really is this data? Can we classify the types of data in some way? Data classifications should not be just “structured” and “unstructured”; they must go deeper than that. To understand how IT operations analytics (ITOA) can act on data, we first need to classify data into something we can comprehend. ITOA leads to insights that can be used to predict capacity, track applications, and tell us when we have security events.
At Zenoss GalaxZ 16, there was a button titled “Talk Data to Me.” That got me thinking about the nature of data or, more importantly, what we keep, what we use, and the future of data altogether. Do we throw away data because we have no way to store it or analyze it, or because we consider data to be a renewable resource? Are enterprises embracing data? Or is this just a next-generation application concept?
IT as a Service (ITaaS) is changing nearly every day. In the past, it was mainly about automating deployment through the contents of a service catalog. Today, it has grown to include IT operations analytics (ITOA). What matters isn’t whether we can select an application from a service catalog, but rather how we monitor and react to issues during the lifetime of the application. With containers, which are all about automation, ITaaS has to change not only to include ITOA, but also to react to the results of the analytics.
In the APM Digest, Andi Mann VP of Strategic Solutions for CA, predicted that “in 3-5 years Virtual System Management vendors will no longer survive, as virtualization becomes a core part of the enterprise compute fabric. Three years later this trend has definitely started, and will accelerate in 2012 as IT turns instead to hybrid IT management, recognizing that silos of standalone virtualization management is a costly and inefficient burden. Maybe 2012 is not the end of Virtualization Management, but it is going to be the start of the demise“.
More and more is coming out about the attack from a MacDonald’s that left an organization crippled for a bit of time. The final tally was that the recently fired employee was able to delete 15 VMs before either being caught or he gave up. On twitter, it was commented that the administrator must not have been a powershell programmer because in the time it takes to delete 15 VMs by hand, a powershell script could have removed 100s. Or perhaps the ‘Bad Actor’ was trying to not be discovered. In either case, this has prompted discussions across the twitter-sphere, blog-sphere, and within organizations about how to secure from such attacks.