Last month at DevOps Days Austin I did a series of interviews with a variety of speakers and attendees. One of the attendees I chatted with was Cameron Haight of Gartner. For the past five years Cameron has been writing about, and advising clients on, DevOps.
I caught some time with Cameron to get his thoughts.
Some of the ground Cameron covers:
How Cameron came to cover the DevOps movement.
What changes has he seen in the community over the past five years.
How does Cameron see DevOps evolving as it moves into the mainstream and where it fits within the larger transformation enterprises are undergoing.
Stay tuned for the final interview in this series starring the one and only John Willis.
Michael Dell recently gave the keynote at the Gartner Symposium in Cannes. One of the topics he discussed was the two IT paths available: evolutionary and revolutionary.
Taking it higher
What I find interesting is that while we at Dell have been talking about evolutionary and revolutionary paths to the cloud, Michael re-labels the discussion in terms of IT paths. I like this up-leveling since it presupposes a cloudy future while at the same time providing a broader context.
In case you’re wondering, here’s how we define these two paths:
The evolutionary approach is when you take existing enterprise applications and systems, that were never intended to be used in a scaled out-environment, and through virtualization you retrofit them for a cloud environment.
In a revolutionary approach you develop cloud native apps which are designed, from the start, to be used in the cloud and a highly scaled-out environment. The systems that support this model are ultra-dense and efficient. For this to be practical you need the luxury of a Greenfield environment.
I’m currently here in Las Vegas attending Gartner’s Data Center conference. It’s day two and I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the sessions so far. In particular I thought yesterday’s keynote was very good and I wanted to share my notes from the talk.
The presentation was entitled, “Infrastructure and Operations: Charting a course for the coming decade” and was delivered by David Cappuccio. In his talk, David walked us through the “10 Trends to watch carefully.”
Based on Tom’s observations, private cloud (however defined) seems to have captured the hearts and minds of IT. Before he began his talk on virtualiztion he did a quick poll asking how many in the audience considered private cloud computing to be a core strategy of theirs. 75% raised their hands. While not overly scientific, that’s a pretty big number.
Little Miss Appropriation
The logical next question one may ask is what do people mean when they say “private cloud.” According to Tom the three most common ways private clouds are being (mis) described are:
IT defending its turf: Shared services that were being re-labelled as private clouds (but without a self-service interface, or much automation at all)
Vendors defending their products: Old products being re-labelled as private clouds in a box (I described most of these as “lipstick on a pig”)
Advanced server virtualization deployments: Although few have a true self-service interface, the intention is certainly there
So it looks like there is quite a bit of misappropriation of the term. However, as we previously learned, just because there is hype and misuse of terms, doesn’t mean there isn’t value in the concept of “private cloud.” The question is what is that value?
Tom sees private cloud’s value as a means to end and concludes his post by saying
The challenge with private cloud computing, of course, is to dispel the vendor hype and the IT protectionism that is hiding there, and to ensure the concept is being used in the right way – as a stepping-stone to public cloud… [italics mine]
(I’m not your) Stepping Stone
This is where I disagree. I believe that while private cloud can be a path to the public cloud, it can also be an end unto itself. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we will always have heterogeneous environments and in the future that will mean a mixture of traditional IT, virtualized resources, private clouds and public clouds. In some case workloads will migrate from virtualizaiton out to the public cloud but in other cases they will stop along the way and decide to stay.
IT will become more efficient and more agile as the cloud evolves but there will be no Big Switch (see above illustration), it (IT) will need to manage a portfolio of computing models.
Just a little while ago Steve Shankland posted an article from the front lines of the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Orlando. The article is based on a presentation given today by Gartner addressing the top 10 trends that will be coming in IT in 2010.
And what found itself moving up two spaces from last year and claiming the top spot? Cloud computing.
Gartner’s cloud advice, notes Shankland, is
…companies should figure out what cloud services might give them value, how to write applications that run on cloud services, and whether they should build their own private clouds that use Internet-style networking technology within a company’s firewall.
(On a side note, it’s interesting to see that last year’s leader virtualization has been tri-sected into: Client Computing, Reshaping the Data Center and Virtualization for Availability)
Back on top
Being at the top of a Gartner chart is nothing new for Cloud Computing as you can see in this Hype Cycle from a couple of months ago:
So I guess the moral of this story is, just because something is over-hyped doesn’t mean its still not important. Ignore the cloud at your peril 🙂