Posted by: Ryan Shopp
DataCenter, DCAB, Virtualization
So where does virtualization fit within the Data Center Automation Blueprint?
In pondering that question I’ve been doing a ton of reading over the past couple months after my original post Data Center Automation/Management is becoming very, very congested.
Virtualization at this point reminds me of security about 3-4 years ago. Everybody sounds the same! I remember a joke a friend made while we were at a security trade show event. The punchline of it was “you could run around, swap all the marketing posters and 99% of the companies could probably still talk to their new signs with no problem.” Bottom line, everyone on the surface looks alike (different approaches & technologies attempting to achieve the same benefits). The same thing is occurring with Virtualization.
After digging deeper the answer I have so far is:
Some virtualization vendors belong within the current 6 functional areas of Data Center Automation (e.g., Performance, Configuration, Security, Availability). These include;
- Traditional physical management/automation vendors extending their product to now support virtualization technologies.
- Start-up or younger companies focused exclusively on automating one or sometimes more of the 6 functional areas exclusively around virtualized resources (e.g., servers, applications, OS).
Still other virtualization vendors belong within the Data Center Infrastructure categories (e.g., Connectivity, Optimization, Servers, Storage)
- Vendors focused around virtualizing a specific categories of physical resource (e.g., server, storage, connectivity).
- Vendors attempting to build solutions that blend multiple physical resource categories into one box (e.g., I/O Virtualization of all storage & network interfaces). Some people like to call these “god boxes” as they attempt to be the box that does it all (NOTE: we saw this same trend occur in security infrastructure).
Still other vendors, just like IT Management/Automation & IT Infrastructure/Hardware/Software are beyond the scope of the Data Center (e.g., desktop virtualization, some application virtualization approaches).
So for now from a model standpoint I have plans to incorporate virtualization into the current model (coming in my next post). This probably deviates from how some/many enterprises have been or will be looking at virtualization due to all the market confusion. I know a number of enterprises that have already formed “Virtualization teams” within their organization. The goal of this team; to go make sense of all this technology, evaluate it, put together a plan to leverage it and then finally deploy/manage it.
Over time, I believe this new tribal knowledge on the secret magic of virtualization will be understood by the masses (7-10 years from now) and then those teams will eventually roll back into their traditional physical disciplines…same thing that I believe is starting to happen with Security.
As always, this is my opinion and it’s an ever growing one. I’m open to other perspectives and insights that may continue help evolve mine.