Posted by: Ryan Shopp
Well, the short answer is no. BUT, I do believe virtualization is the key to the possibility of a “lights out data center”.
I know what I’m about to say is going to be a gross oversimplification, but the point I’m trying to make here is all the hype and buzz is justified!
Once you have your data center equipped and architected with the necessary virtualization capable infrastructure (e.g.,physical hardware, interfaces, cables, power, HVAC) you are on your way through the power of virtualization!
Five basic steps (I know, very oversimplified):
- Determine how much infrastructure capacity you need
- Review what you can re-use and what new infrastructure you will need to purchase.
- Select your virtualization providers
- Deploy this abstraction layer
- Make sure you have all the necessary management/automation products you need.
From one location now you should be able to completely manage the data center without anyone stepping foot onsite. Well almost…
The only times you will need to do something manually in the data center (aka have a human switch on the lights) will be when infrstructure fails, you need more capacity or you want to swap out newer/more efficient “green” infrastructure.
That means anytime you want to:
- Install/Update/Configure an application – “check”
- Check Backup/Restore anything – “check”
- Allocate bandwidth – “check”
- Direct traffic flow – “check”
- this list goes on…all from the comfort on your laptop.
Now for smaller companies, don’t fret – I honestly believe we are coming upon a time where you can outsource your entire IT through going to a web page and selecting what you need from the catalog (think building a Dell computer but now for your entire IT). The provider in turn will ask you for key deliverables (e.g., your internally developed applictions, list of users for all necessary productivity tools, where to send the employee computer/laptop). On the back side they have the infrastructure and software supply chain where the laptop magically shows up and everything works.
Now the tough part is within all this virtualization hype there are a variety of approaches or technologies an enterprise can take/use. How do we make sense of all this? That’s where we will pick up next time…
Flame on if you wish…but my personal view is very optimistic once we get through all this yelling (aka buzz & hype) on who/which/what technologies and approaches are best.