Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Business Market Place

One of the key contributors to the growth in virtualization has been the CPU core architecture. CPU transactions per minute have increased by x16 times over the past 4 years. The previous 10 years of x86 architecture was relatively flat-lined until the introduction of the first multi-core processor by AMD in April of 2005. This is definitely shaping our datacenters so that we can have dramatic consolidation ratios through server virtualization. IT organizations are at the forefront of a new datacenter model. The current model provides us with hardware independence, is highly virtualized, enables scalability and flexibility, and demonstrates strong business continuity through virtual technologies like VMware High Availability (HA) and VMware Fault Tolerance (FT).  
These changes are going to compliment corporate globalization efforts and help define service offerings for their business partners. Infrastructure and operations focus now moves from data center consolidation to offering dynamic infrastructure as a commodity to ensure innovation helps meet business goals. Basically – IT consumerization. IT as an industry must begin clearly defining the services it provides to the business, rather than the activities it executes to provide those services.  Defining and valuing the services it provides within infrastructure and operation services will help provide IT leaders with a realistic cost of operating the Wintel environment.
Compute clouds like Amazon EC2 are essentially consolidated virtualized compute infrastructure where access to capacity is rented out to third parties. It is important that corporate IT departments adopt this model and show they are competitive from a cost standpoint with their internal infrastructure (compute, memory, storage, networking, and infrastructure OPEX). Moving in this direction will help their enterprise become more agile, service oriented, and cost effective.

Infrastructure IT must drive forward the maturing of underlying expense definition and the ability to demonstrate those expenses to the consumers of the services provided. This will give IT leaders the opportunity to understand where infrastructure investments are made and if they are using their resources wisely to support the business.

I think some key success factors to this new “business view” will be:

  • Transparency of infrastructure costs
  • Create budget accountability for infrastructure related costs to IT business projects
  • Expanding automation capabilities
  • Develop strong resource capacity management and modeling practices

Traditional IT will change dramatically over the next 5 years; companies will start to align their technology solutions into services to meet the needs of their business customers. Unlike other technology trends, the emergence of the business technology market place is going to help senior management have a better understanding of the benefits IT provides the organization, and provide them the opportunity to deliver services with a “business” mindset.
Although companies may not adopt all the principles of an internal or private cloud, learning to change our mindset to be more business oriented through the consumerzation of infrastructure resources has immeasurable benefits.
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