It is that time of the year where the conference season has ended and a good number of companies are entering into a new fiscal year. As such, it might be a good time to look back over the year and get some insight into what 2017 might have in store for the information technology industry and the engineers who support it.
SDDC & Hybrid Cloud
Cloud computing has evolved from focusing only on how to construct, secure, manage, monitor, and utilize IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS clouds. As the paradigm matures, it is moving from a pure resource management paradigm to a data and resource management paradigm. (Read More)
SDDC is the next evolution in on-site data center technology. It has taken the knowledge gained from the server virtualization revolution and blended it with software-defined storage and networking to create a data center defined and managed by software running on invisible hardware.
Hybrid Cloud covers the technologies and operational processes, both technical and business, for deploying, consuming, and utilizing this paradigm.
Major areas of focus include barriers to adoption; progress on the part of vendors in removing those barriers; where the lines of responsibility are drawn between the cloud vendor and the customer for IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and hybrid clouds; and management tools that are essential to deploying and managing the cloud, ensuring its security and the performance of applications.
VMware’s VMworld conference season is now over. Its Barcelona shindig has just finished and everybody has flown home, is flying home, or is winding down on the beaches of the Catalonian coast pending the upcoming OpenStack summit. I did not attend the Las Vegas event; however, from what I have gathered from speaking to folks who attended and from reading about it, it was not well received. Complaints included a lack of new releases and what at first glance appeared to be muddled messaging and poor keynotes. However, fast-forward to VMworld Barcelona, and you could not have had a more night-and-day moment.
Historically, VMware’s European conference has been lackluster ever since it was moved from its original late-February slot to its current Autumn resting-place, October. The larger US conference had a larger audience, lasted longer, had all the important new releases, and got first shout at the keynotes. Not this time. VMworld Barcelona was extended by an extra day, and more importantly, it got all the major announcements: vSphere 6.5, VSAN 6.5, vRealize Automation and Operations, a new version of Log Insight, and the biggie, vCloud on AWS. Further, rather than being able to sit in the hang space and mouth out the keynote in time with Pat’s speech, Europe got brand-new keynotes.
Software-defined storage (SDS) is about data services. Many think it is about automating storage. Yes, I can see that, but it is about what storage can deliver. So, what is the basis for SDS? There are four critical components. These components are analytics, augmentation, aggregation, and security. These four elements wrap storage to become data services. Data services and control thereof are therefore the key components of SDS. What data services can SDS provide that do not already exist? Is it just enough to add deduplication, or is more necessary? Let us look at these data services in detail.
Ask anyone if they have adopted the cloud, and the answer will likely be yes. Whether it’s Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce.com, Google Docs, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or any of the myriad other cloud services, almost everyone will cheerfully admit to using the cloud in some form. Does the definition of cloud imply pulling from cloud services, workloads pushing to the cloud, or perhaps both?
As we hear more about VMware, AWS, and IBM, a new story emerges. VMware is talking about cross-cloud management. VMware is also talking about cloud-native applications. VMware is also talking about how you go from the data center to the cloud. VMware is talking about how to transform into a hybrid cloud. It appears there is an interesting thread throughout this. We have read about the winners and losers in VMware’s new approach, but what most are missing is that there are no real losers. There are just winners. It depends on your mindset. The Achilles’ heel of IT is not hybrid cloud, but scale. How do we scale up our applications fast enough to handle the new IT? The approach VMware is taking is a major pivot for it. Let us look at some fundamentals.
What is the future of big data? This is the question on my mind and perhaps those of others. We know it is being used heavily by industry, business, and government. One thing I want to know is how do we make big data even faster? Eventually, even with Moore’s Law, we will hit a roadblock. Granted, for many, we are a far cry from hitting any limits. However, for some, some queries still take months to answer. For security groups, months is too slow. So, where do we turn? How do we get faster?